GTAIV trailer now, music downloads soon

Latest teaser for Rockstar's crime spree in a box lands today; publisher reveals partnership with Amazon for in-game music-purchase program.

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Today, Rockstar Games set loose the fourth trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV in anticipation of the game's April 29 release on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The "Good Lord, What are You Doing?" aka “Everyone's a Rat" trailer gives eager gamers yet one more advance look at Liberty City's criminal underworld, offering tantalizing scenes of high-speed chases, high-octane explosions, cinematic dialogue sequences, and scantily clad ladies.

However, that isn't the only tidbit of GTAIV news surfacing today. Aside from the mayhem and controversy, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the GTA series has been the game's finely crafted soundtrack. Playing into that, Rockstar Games and Amazon will be partnering on an in-game music-distribution initiative, in which gamers will be able to purchase for download any of the songs they hear over one of the game's radio stations from real-world artists, reports Yahoo. According to Yahoo, the service will be rolled out first in the US.

Grouped under the label "ZiT," song downloads will reportedly be a part of the in-game mobile-phone mechanic, and players will be able to mark tracks for download by using their in-game communicator to call a special number. These tunes will then be flagged and compiled for the gamer on Amazon's music-distribution site, where the songs can then be previewed and purchased for the online warehouse's standard rate of $.89 to $.99 per song. Once downloaded, the songs can then be transferred to most any PC or MP3-compatible music player.

The report also notes that GTAIV's soundtrack will feature a number of rare tracks, such as Electrick Funk's "On a Journey" and Elton John's "Street Kids," as well as exclusive ballads such as Greenskeepers' "Vagabond (Liberty City Mix)" and Nas' "War is Necessary."

To facilitate gamers finding their songs on Amazon, the service will also link up with Rockstar's recently unveiled Social Club. Promising to be "more than just a standard gaming site," the Rockstar Social Club will play home to standard fare such as leaderboards, and will regularly update with challenges, tournaments, and player milestone recognitions. As it pertains to the ZiT song downloads, gamers who sign up for the Rockstar Social Club will be e-mailed a link to Amazon, where they can purchase their marked songs. Registration for the Rockstar Social Club begins April 15.

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