Back in November 2006, Sony launched the PlayStation Network, its massive entertainment service managing all kinds of features for PlayStation game systems, including online multiplayer and digital marketplaces.
However, Sony has never offered the ability to change a PSN name once a profile has been created, leaving users stuck with names they made up to 12 years ago and may have since grown out of.
That may soon change, though.
According to Kotaku, three people from three different game studios — speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to press — have stated they are working to prepare their games for an upcoming PSN name change feature from Sony. This includes “fixing bugs, tweaking settings, and ensuring that their games are compatible with Sony’s plans,” Kotaku reports.
Further, Kotaku says a fourth anonymous developer even shared an internal Sony photo of a PSN profile containing the option ‘edit username.’
The developers did not know when the name change feature may roll out to the public.
For comparison, rival console maker Microsoft has offered name changes for its Xbox Gamertags for years now. Microsoft offers a free one-time name change to users who opted for a suggested Gamertag. Alternatively, users who selected their own Gamertags can change them at any time for a $9.99 CAD fee.
PSN name changes has been a highly requested feature among PlayStation users over the years. In November 2014, Shawn Layden, Chairman of Sony Interactive Entertainment, told IGN that the company didn’t want to give players the ability to harass or provoke one another and then change their names to avoid being punished.
However, hope was renewed at PlayStation Experience (PSX) in December 2017, where Layden told Kinda Funny‘s Greg Miller that he hoped “events occur that you won’t have to ask me [about name changes] at next PSX.” It’s worth noting, though, that Sony confirmed last month September that there won’t be a PSX in 2018, which does give the company a pretty interesting loophole in providing an update on the coveted feature.
The reason why it’s taken so long to get name changes up and running, the developers suggested to Kotaku, is due to the way Sony originally implemented PSN profiles in 2006. Layden even alluded to these challenges to Miller at PSX, stating that name changes are “more complex than you think” from a technical standpoint.
Unlike other services that use a universally unique identifier for easier recognition across a variety of devices, Sony instead tied PSN names to an account ID. As a result, Sony has reportedly had trouble figuring out how to allow name changes without losing attached information related to purchases, trophy information, online leaderboards and the like.
Hopefully, PSN users like ‘BoNgRiPPer420′ get a chance to change their names sooner rather than later.