Rock Band 4
Artwork released for Rock Band 4Harmonix

Harmonix has announced the return of the Rock Band franchise and it will include every single song released for the series so far.

Rock Band 4 will be released on PS4 and Xbox One later in 2015 and all of the 2,000+ songs that have been available for fans to purchase until now will be available to transfer to the new versions at no extra cost.

Better still, all the old instrument peripherals will work with the new versions, as well as new peripherals being developed by Harmonix in partnership with Mad Catz, who will be distributing the new game, with EA no longer publishing the series.

Harmonix has said Rock Band 4 is intended as a platform rather than the first in a series of new games. It will be providing regular updates and new songs and modes for years to come.

"The game that we ship this year, is going to be the game for the generation," said Harmonix's PR and communications lead Nick Chester while speaking to God is a Geek.

"We'll continue to release musical content, but we'll also update the game in significant ways [patches and things like that], and though we don't have specific details, you can envisage a situation where features the audience want can be implemented.

"So maybe the Rock Band you're playing now feels completely different in a few years, but you haven't bought three discs. We really hope to continue a dialogue with our players post-launch, to find out what they want, and how they want the game to evolve. That's really exciting for us."

In response to recent rumours that Guitar Hero – the series Harmonix created before branching off to create Rock Band, leaving the IP with Activision – might be returning, Chester was enthusiastic.

He said: "As a fan of music games, I can't wait to see what they're up to. I don't think we want to get into that arms race again, we're going to focus on our audience. We don't need to recapture that magic of that time. It'd be great if we could, but we just want to make sure we're delivering an awesome experience, and we're not delusional, let's put it that way – we don't think it's going to be as big as it used to be.

"We still believe there's a huge audience for the game that really hasn't gone anywhere, despite us not releasing a new title or content for years. We still see hundreds and thousands of unique users playing the games monthly, so we know the audience is out there."

Rock Band 4 has been given a summer release window.