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Exclusive GTA IV content for PS3, too - source

Similar deal to Xbox 360's.

Microsoft could barely contain its glee at being able to confirm exclusive downloadable content for next year's Xbox 360 version of Grand Theft Auto IV - but PS3 fans need not fear, as it seems the Sony release is also firmly in line to receive its very own dazzling additions.

According to a source close to Rockstar North, the team is working on exclusive supplemental content for both systems, which will be made available for download via Microsoft and Sony's respective online services after the game's release next year.

In case you missed it, Microsoft revealed at X06 that Xbox 360 owners will get "exclusive access to two downloadable, epic episodes of GTA IV via Xbox Live, each with hours of entirely new gameplay and available only on Xbox 360 just months after the release of the title".

We're told to expect much the same deal on PS3, except unique to the platform. Interestingly, the downloadable content, our source maintains, will take the form of brand new areas which will link into the main GTAIV game world.

"Think of the world as a large island - the new downloadable areas will be like smaller islands linking into it," the source explained. (Which is a structural analogy, rather than a suggestion that the game is set on an island, we hasten to add.)

How many additional areas or episodes Rockstar is planning is anyone's guess at this juncture, but it seems the game is at least being structured to accommodate a number of expansive new content releases in the weeks and months after release, while also satisfying platform holder - and console owner - demand for exclusive material.

Though with 'exclusive' being a somewhat elastic term these days, especially where Grand Theft Auto is concerned, we wouldn't be remotely surprised if you end up playing 'exclusive' 360 episodes on your PS3, and vice versa. One thing's for sure - there's nothing more certain to piss off the fanboys than a level playing field.

No formal response from Rockstar at the time of writing. But, as ever, don't expect official word until they're good and ready.

Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled to release on Xbox 360 and PS3 in the US on 16th October 2007, with Europe getting hold of it just three days later.