Sony has announced that it will finally allow PlayStation gamers to change their PlayStation Network names.
PSN launched way back in November 2006, and ever since, users have been unable to change their PSN IDs once they have been created, despite such a feature being highly requested.
In a blog post, Sony confirmed that it will soon begin testing a ‘PSN Online ID Change’ feature in beta as part of the PlayStation Preview Program, which is only available to users who have registered as testers of previous software betas.
Participants of the preview will be able to change their PSN names as many times as they want. The first change is free, while subsequent changes will cost $9.99 CAD. PlayStation Plus members, meanwhile, will be able to change their names each time for the discounted price of $4.99. The name change feature will be available in the Settings menu or via the Profile page on the PS4.
When changing their names, users will have the option to display their original ID to help their PSN friends better recognize them. However, Sony says users won’t be able to adjust this setting after the name change, regardless of whether they chose to display their original ID.
The preview will wrap up at the end of November, with a full public rollout slated for “early 2019,” according to Sony. It’s important to note that there are a few caveats with the name changes, however.
To start, Sony says the feature is compatible with “PS4 games originally published after April 1st, 2018, and a large majority of the most-played PS4 games that were released before this date.” It’s unclear which games Sony is referring to as “the most-played PS4 games,” but presumably, this will include massively popular online games like Fortnite or the annual Call of Duty games.
Sony says a full list of compatible games published before April 1st, 2018 will be posted on PlayStation.com when the name change feature officially launches next year.
Further, Sony notes that “not all games and applications for PS4, PS3 and PS Vita systems” are guaranteed to support the name change feature, warning users that they may “occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games” as a result. Sony says users who experience issues after changing their ID will be able to revert to their original name for free at any time. The preview program will only offer the ability to revert once. Sony says this reversion will “resolve most issues caused by the ID change.”
According to recent reports from multiple developers, Sony has had difficulty in getting name changes running because of how the PlayStation Network was built in the first place. While many online services use a universally unique identifier to allow for recognition across a variety of platforms, Sony instead tied PSN names to account IDs. This reportedly made it challenging for Sony to figure out a way to allow name changes without losing users’ important attached information, such as purchase history, trophies and online leaderboards.