We've seen it with "Madden," we've seen it with "LA Noire" and now the "DLC season pass" concept is coming to "Gears of War 3." Yes, starting on September 20, the same date as the game's release, players will be able to purchase a "Gears of War 3" Season Pass, which includes the first four DLC packs.
The Season Pass will cost 2400 Microsoft points, or $30 in real money. The idea is that Microsoft wants to encourage folks to purchase the DLC packs upfront, in case they end up losing interest by the time the fourth one comes out. As a reward for your early investment, you're getting all four packs for 33% less than they would cost if you bought them separately...assuming you were definitely going to buy all of them. Season Pass holders will also get access to the exclusive "Liquid Metal Weapon Set," which is a set of skins for the game's five primary weapons.
Given that the standard edition of the game costs $60, with limited editions going as high as $150, it's a lot to ask of players to plunk down an extra $30 on top of that, but I suppose if you're a hardcore "Gears" fan and you know for sure that you'll be buying those DLC packs on the day they come up, it makes fiscal sense to invest in the Season Pass. More casual players are probably fine to hold off and see whether they think they'll be playing "Gears" well into the new year, which is when the last of those four packs is likely to release.