PlayStation Network launched in 2006. The service has grown exponentially since then, but in all of that time one much-asked-for feature has eluded subscribers: name changes.
We all make questionable choices when we’re young. Some smoke cigarettes. Others toilet paper the homes of their enemies. One youthful transgression most of us can relate to, though, especially in a post-internet world: the embarrassing screen name.
There are respectable grown-ass adults walking around right now hiding that terrible secret. Online, they’re xXxBiGB00TY69xXx, or L33t_3dg3l0rd, or Weed4Lyfe420. And it’s a scarlet letter. They’re terrified of having to share their online handle.
Now, at long last, PSN will fall in line with virtually every other online service you can think of and let users change their name. The feature will be here soon, and Sony’s breakdown makes it sound like a pretty simple process — one that should sound familiar to Xbox users.
Your first PSN name change is a freebie, on Sony. Any name changes after that will cost you $10 a pop. If you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber, you get a discount: $5 per name change.
That’s it! There’s going to be a preview program for registered PlayStation testers during which all name changing will be free.
There’s a few quirks to the upcoming feature that you should know about, especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to dive into their library and play older games. Here’s what the PlayStation Blog post has to say:
When you change your online ID, you will have the option to display your previous ID with your new ID, so your friends can recognize you. Once you decide to display your old ID or not, you won’t be able to adjust this after completing the online ID change process.
This feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after April 1, 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. If for any reason you experience issues after changing your ID, you can revert back to your original ID for free at any time (you will only be able to revert once during the preview program). Reverting back to an old ID will resolve most issues caused by the ID change. In addition, when this feature officially launches, a list of compatible games published before April 1, 2018, will be provided on PlayStation.com for reference before you make a change.
The testing process should begin soon, as Sony expects it to end in November. There’ll be a short wait after that, with the feature set to officially roll out for all users sometime in early 2019.