Based on Namco Bandai's super-helpful countdown clock teaser page that everyone seemed pretty sure was related to a new Soul Calibur game, we expected an announcement of the new title sometime around now-ish. And we certainly got one, though anyone who was glued to that page for the last several hours actually missed the first Soul Calibur V announcement, which happened like six hours ago.
At a press event held in Dubai (which we didn't go to, because Dubai is far), Namco Bandai officially released the first details on its new Soul Calibur sequel, which is coming next year for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The new game is set 17 years following the events of the last game, and focuses on a new character named Patroklos, who is the son of Sophitia. He has a moveset directly inspired by her play style.
Producer Hisaharu Tago was quoted as describing the new game as a "generational shift" for the series, with a number of new characters joining some old standbys. Though character lists are still currently under wraps, Siegfried and Nightmare have both been confirmed. Tago also said that some guest characters, in the vein of Star Wars (but probably not actually Star Wars) would likely appear. Create-a-character is back as well, so perhaps you can just make Darth Vader if you really feel like it.== TEASER ==
Soul Calibur V also marks a shift in gameplay style, with the two-handed swords of old being replaced by short swords. "The enigma as to why the swords have become short swords" will apparently be addressed in the game's story. So don't worry, you won't be left dangling with excruciating anticipation over the mystery behind that little detail.
The change in swords will have some impact on the pace of the game, which is described as "lighter, sharper, and more elegant." Tago stated this would lead to moves and combos that felt more continuous and easier to pull off, but was also quick to mention that the core gameplay would still feel appropriately like Soul Calibur.
No actual gameplay has been shown as of yet, but we expect we'll be seeing more of the title come this year's E3. In the meantime, feel free to start speculating wildly about who those guest characters will be. I'm going with the guys from The Knife Show.