PlayStation Name Changes Are Here, But Might Not Be Useful
by Dylan Blight
For many, many years the inability to change names on the PlayStation Network has caused Sony to be the butt of many jokes. Finally, though, Sony has announced that name changes are coming, but they might not be any use to a lot of players.
Via a PS Blog post late on Tuesday night published by Sid Shuman, Sony announced that name changes would be coming to the PlayStation Preview Program shortly for testing ahead of launch to the public, presumably by next year.
During the preview, you will be able to change your online ID as many times as you want. The first change is free, and changes after that will cost €9.99/£7.99. For PlayStation Plus members, it will cost €4.99/£3.99 after the first change.
That’s about $16AUD for a name change. Yikes indeed. To make matter worse though let’s digest this following paragraph.
This feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after 1st April 2018, and a large majority of the most played PS4 games that were released before this date. However, please note not all games and applications for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita systems are guaranteed to support the online ID change, and users may occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games.
Yeah, “however, please note not all games and applications for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita systems are guaranteed to support the online ID change,” sticks out like a sore thumb. In the following paragraph, it’s noted that changing back to your original name will be free, and a list of compatible games for the change will be posted online in the future. But here’s the thing of course — if you spend a lot of time playing a game published before August 2018 online, are you just screwed? It seems so.
From my non-too-educated analysis, it seems Sony has been building to this name change by making sure the majority of games published in 2018 would be compatible with the change. However, since they build their online infrastructure so poorly back in the PS3 days, it is simply impossible to fix. PSN accounts are tied to a user's unique ID, instead of being a separate somewhat ghost, public-facing entity.
This appears to be Sony ripping off the band-aid though. Do it now and just get the future infrastructure set in place so that the PS5 will have this ability in place from day 1.
What say you though? Let us know your thoughts — and if you plan to change your PSN name — in the comments below.