Rockstar Games has announced that the latest instalment in its magnum opus Grand Theft Auto IV will be arriving this coming October on Microsoft's Xbox 360.

The Xbox 360 'timed exclusive' The Ballad of Gay Tony will be released as a standalone game on the shelves this October priced £34.99 (which doesn't require you to own a copy of GTA IV to play) and be made available for download via Xbox Live for 1600 Microsoft points (£13.60) – which does require you to own a copy of GTA IV to play).

Rockstar Christmas

The disc-version of the game combines the two downloadable episodes The Lost and The Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony. Rockstar is clearly aiming to target the lucrative Christmas market, pitching the game to those that might not already have invested in the original GTA IV.

"Grand Theft Auto Episodes From Liberty City is a brand new GTA coming to retail for Xmas with two great Episodes in The Lost and The Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony," said Rockstar Games' General Manager Neil Stephen.

"Fans will not need an Xbox Live connection or a copy of GTA IV to play the game. You don't even need to have played GTA IV to enjoy these episodes. They are standalone titles with all the unique wit, humour, action, new characters, music and great story lines that fans have come to expect from GTA titles."

Edge notes that the previous episode The Lost and Damned broke the Xbox Live first-day revenue record for DLC, while retail sales of Grand Theft Auto IV topped $500 million during its first week of availability.

Via Edge and MCV