Today's newly announced The Ballad of Gay Tony episode for Grand Theft Auto IV was only half of Rockstar's GTA news. The other half could usher in a new approach to downloadable content.

Rockstar Games announced that the fall-slated The Ballad of Gay Tony and the February-released GTA IV episode The Lost and Damned will be released as a compilation disc for the Xbox 360 this fall.

The disc, entitled Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City, will retail for $39.99. Unlike the downloadable versions of each episode, the disc-based Episodes will not require a copy of the original Grand Theft Auto IV to play.

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Requiring that players own the core game has been the tradition for post-release DLC of major console games. Rockstar's announcement today signals the first prominent experiment with a second approach, one that treats add-on content as a standalone expansion playable on its own.