It’s certainly been a busy few weeks for Harmonix and Rock Band 4 in terms of news stories. Not only has the developer just started a crowdfunding campaign in hopes of funding a PC port of the recently released rhythm game, but Mad Catz, the hardware manufacturer who helped co-publish the game on consoles last year and has produced instrument peripherals for the series since 2010, recently suffered from income loss and significant downsizing.
In a move almost certainly connected to Mad Catz’s troubles, Harmonix has announced that they will be switching to Performance Designed Products (or PDP) for Rock Band 4‘s distribution and peripheral production. The company hasn’t stated if it has outright severed all ties with Mad Catz, but it certainly seems like they’ll be shifting their focus in terms of this particular series. It’s also currently unknown if this was decided some time ago or is a direct result of Mad Catz’s recent issues.
Interestingly, Harmonix also stated that they are planning “a major Rock Band 4 feature update coming this fall,” and some sort of new hardware from PDP will accompany it.
While the developer has been committed from the start to continually adding new features to the game rather than developing traditional sequels, this is the first word of anything involving new hardware. Considering that this entry abandoned the keyboard controller Rock Band 3 introduced, it seems doubtful that a completely new instrument will be incorporated into the game, but the possibility of new features being added to existing instruments certainly seems possible.