It looks like the Grand Theft Auto IV expansion The Lost and Damned will get a boxed retail release when it comes out next year.
GameStop (via videogaming247) has the expansion listed on its site for pre-order, with a ship date of February 17, the same day it hits Xbox Live as exclusive downloadable content. The boxed release won't actually include the add-on, however; what you'll get instead is a two-sided poster and an Xbox Live Marketplace "token card," containing a code which will allow you to download the expansion. The box is listed at $19.99, the price point which industry analyst Michael Pachter predicted last week.
Is there any point to putting a box on a shelf for an upgrade that's available exclusively via download? It may have made sense if Rockstar had been able to get it out in time for Christmas, so parents could buy something special for little Timmy and that car-driving game he likes so much. But a February release negates much of the reason for a shelf presence, reducing its appeal to hardcore GTA fans and collector nerds who love boxes and posters. (People like me, in other words.) Everyone else would be just as well served with an Xbox Points card.