GTA IV Episodes Coming To Disc As Standalone GameS

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.

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.