I've been playing the Japanese version of PSO2 for about five days, and can say that mechanically it's a damn fine game. It's now been announced for North American and Europe, citing an early 2013 launch.
And here's the Japanese registration site, if anyone's interested in playing now. Google translate handles it pretty well, and once you're in-game there is a PSO blog on bumped.org that has a number of very effective guides to playing despite the language barrier. I have been led to believe the English version of the game will simply be applied via patch, so accounts will most likely carry over. There's a pretty large English-speaking contingent on ship 10. The largest is on ship 2, but that ship has been locked for character creation.
It's more akin to Diablo or Monster Hunter than an MMO, hence this section and not the other. It plays smoother than MH, and with more agency than Diablo. If people think it should go in the MMO board instead, so be it.
Rather than type a bumbling explanation of the game I'll just post the Giant Bomb Quick Look of the beta.