According to a news release from Sony, the two downloadable follow-up episodes to “Grand Theft Auto IV” — previously an Xbox 360 exclusive — will be coming to the PlayStation 3 on March 30.

The highly rated episodes, called “The Lost and Damned” and “The Ballad of Gay Tony,” are expansions set in Liberty City that don’t require the original game to play, although both feature cameos from Niko Bellic, “GTA IV’s” protagonist. In “The Lost and Damned,” you play as Johnny Klebitz, the No. 2 man in Liberty City’s  The Lost gang who’s basically been serving as the group’s leader. It’s a refreshing twist on the “GTA” formula, which usually has you starting out as a low-level criminal. In “The Ballad of Gay Tony,” you play as Luis Fernando Lopez, who’s a bodyguard to nightclub impresario Tony Prince, the “Gay Tony” of the game’s title.

The news release from Sony says the titles will be available separately as direct downloads from the PlayStation Network store, as well as packaged together on a disc available at retail. In other words, they’ll be available in the same formats you can get them in on the Xbox 360.

Given that Microsoft fronted “GTA” publisher Take-Two Interactive $50 million in exchange for exclusive rights to the episodes, I’m kind of curious how this deal came about. Either Microsoft’s getting a cut of the PS3 platform sales or the deal was a timed exclusive to begin with. In any case, it’s great news for PS3 owners.

Update: Kotaku is also reporting the episodes are coming to PC.