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Live GTA IV play free to Silver members

But only for five days.

Microsoft plans to let Xbox Live Silver members play Grand Theft Auto IV online modes free for five days. This kind of treatment is usually reserved for Gold subscribers.

The promotion coincides with the launch of Grand Theft Auto IV downloadable expansion The Lost and Damned on 17th February, and ends on 22nd February.

Microsoft will hope the decision attracts more people to the Xbox 360-exclusive content, of course - a deal reports claimed cost rather a lot to secure.

The Lost and Damned follows rough-and-tumble biker Johnny Klebitz and the adventures of his motorbike gang, The Lost. You'll need to hand over 1600 MSP (GBP 13.60 / EUR 19.20) for the privilege, but Rockstar ensures us there's around one third of the original game's missions on offer, plus a slew of extra multiplayer modes.

And we were suitably impressed, as our hands-on impressions of Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned will point out.