There's still a few days from Day One of the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo, but that didn't stop Konami from becoming the first game publisher to unveil their post-E3 plans on Thursday, with a live stream that featured a surprising amount of new Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain information.

Some big Metal Gear Solid 5 news emerged on Thursday, courtesy of Konami's pre-E3 live stream, including confirmation of a major change in the game's voice acting lineup and a few statements from Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima on what themes the Phantom Pain storyline will explore. We've also embedded Konami's entire pre-E3 event down at the bottom of the page, just in case you missed out on Thursday morning and still want to see whole thing for yourself.

A major change to the vocal talent roster in Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain was almost inarguably the biggest reveal of Konami's pre-E3 live stream, with MGS5 apparently marking the first time Snake will be voiced by anyone other than David Hayter in more than a decade. Instead, Kojima Productions has turned to actor Kiefer Sutherland to voice the now middle-aged Snake, and franchise creator Hideo Kojima credited Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad with the idea to make the switch.

"We were in Japan celebrating the 25th anniversary of Metal Gear Solid, and we started talking about actors...I said 'Why don't you go for Kiefer Sutherland,'" Arad explained, adding, "A friend of mine used to be Snake, but Kiefer is in a class by himself."

Clearly, Kojima agreed, and Sutherland will now provide the voice of Snake in both Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain and (presumably) Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, given former voice actor David Hayter's claim that he won't be voicing Snake in Ground Zeroes either.

Hideo Kojima also confirmed that the first next-gen Metal Gear Solid title will deal with much heavier themes than some of the franchise's previous entries, including explorations of both race and revenge from the perspective of a 49-year-old Snake. Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain will apparently be set in 1984, meaning players will control the aging FOXHOUND during the tail end of the Cold War.

If you haven't already, take some time this weekend to watch Konami's entire pre-E3 live stream while you count down the days until E3 2013 floods the web with new information on Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain and all of Konami's other current projects.

Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com for all the latest Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain news as we await the game's launch on the PlayStation 4 sometime during 2014.

What do you think of the decision to replace David Hayter with Kiefer Sutherland in Metal Gear Solid 5: Phantom Pain? Think Konami should have retained Hayter's services for Ground Zeroes at the very least? Glad to see some changes coming to the Metal Gear Solid franchise?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section!

More Metal Gear Solid News:

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection Localization Confirmed, Coming To North America July 2013

Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Confirmed With Trailer, Game Play Demo During Kojima Productions' GDC 2013 Presentation [VIDEO]

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection Release Date Confirmed By Konami; Find Out What's In The Latest MGS Box Set