I don't really know what to make of this:
Any “Fable II” fan can share experiences of their life in the rich world of Albion, and wild stories about glory or mischief they’ve gotten into as consequences of their choices in the game. For everyone missing out, Microsoft now presents a completely new way to experience “Fable II” through the power of Xbox LIVE and Games on Demand: “Fable II: Game Episodes.”
Debuting today on Xbox LIVE*, “Fable II: Game Episodes” gives players the choice to purchase and download “Fable II” one episode at a time. This marks the first time in Xbox history that a major blockbuster title will be distributed not only digitally, but episodically as well. “Fable II: Game Episodes” delivers the entire “Fable II” experience in five consecutive installments, with all the Achievements, challenges and excitement of the disc-based game, as well as full compatibility with the previously released Game Add-ons, “Knothole Island” and “See the Future.”
As an incentive for those curious about the adventures that await them in “Fable II,” Microsoft Game Studios is making the first episode free to download. In this initial episode, players are introduced to the vibrant world of Albion where every choice has a consequence, and are able to experience childhood and the trials of being a young adult. Players can then choose to purchase additional episodes on Xbox LIVE at their own pace.
Players who decide to purchase “Fable II” either digitally or on disc after a foray into the first game episode will find their saved progress, character profile, and items from the first episode will be transferred seamlessly as they continue their journey. All editions of the game offer cooperative play with friends on the same couch as well as on Xbox LIVE.**
For more information about “Fable II: Game Episodes” and “Fable III” please visit http://www.lionhead.com.
So it's basically a way to taste F2 without buying into the whole retail package. In a way, I like this a lot- The idea of carrying over all of your decisions and saved games from a demo (which is really what the first episode is) into the complete game (either as a retail box or DLC) is a great one. I often don't play demo's of game that I pretty much know I'm going to get at launch. This isn't because I'm not excited to play, it's because I have no interest in playing the same section twice and I get annoyed when I get into a great game only to have it end at a cliffhanger. I'd rather just wait for the release. This format takes care of half my 'demo issue' quite nicely.
On the other hand, why the hell bother with wasting this on Fable II? The game is a year old. I understand that hype has to build for part 3 but come on, It's a year old!