GTA IV website to track player stats

Plus: download music from the soundtrack.

Rockstar has lifted the lid on its Social Club website for Grand Theft Auto IV, which will record your in-game statistics and allow you to download songs from the sountrack.

It will gather data after you supply your Xbox Gamertag or PlayStation Network ID.

Then it'll pop them into various leaderboards and dish out web-based or real-life prizes to the top achievers.

The first ten people to complete 100 per cent of Grand Theft Auto IV will be sent an "ultra-rare" key to the city, for example, while those completing other areas like the storyline will get your name in lights depending on when they finished it and how long it took. The Hall of Fame will display the achievers across a selection of leaderboards, with more to be added over time.

There will also be an LCPD Police Blotter to track all the criminal activity from GTA IV on a map, by using aggregated data to pull out statistics like which weapon you use the most and that sort of thing. A Liberty City Marathon area will track milestones like miles walked, driven, and swam, as well as bullets fired.

In addition, an area of the Social Club will be integrated with Amazon to let you buy songs from GTA IV.

This works through your in-game mobile phone, so when you're driving around or listening to music on your mobile you can mark a song you like the sound of by dialling the ZiT number (ZiT is the name of the in-game music network).

You'll then receive a text message telling you the name of the song artist and who it's by, and if you're registered with the Social Club you'll be sent an email guiding you to your custom playlist at Amazon. This is a collection of your marked songs, and you can preview them to refresh your memory before splashing out USD 0.89 to USD 0.99 a track.

These are free of legal binds and can be transferred to portable music players. Adding to the lure is a boast from Rockstar that the soundtrack in Grand Theft Auto IV will be the "biggest in history" and feature rare songs such as Electrik Funk's "On a Journey" and Elton John's "Street Kids". They're not actually his children.

Some artists have even recorded special versions for the games, like Greenskeepers with "Vagabond (Liberty City Mix)" and Naz with "War is Necessary".

Unfortunately this music service will initially be a US-only feature.

Grand Theft Auto IV will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on 29th April, and registrations for the Social Club begin on 15th April.

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