By day you’re Jack Smith, the lightly-balding bloke from human resources, but by night you’re XxSn1p3r WoLFxX, a badass PS4 FPS player who no-scopes n00bs left, right and centre. That’s all well and good when you’re in your late teens or early 20’s, but by the time you’re 40 and you’re explaining to your wife and two kids why the hell you called yourself a stupid name like that it all gets a bit embarrassing. And you’ll always get asked “well, why don’t you change it?” and the answer is “because I can’t dammit!”. Well, I have good news, you’ll soon be able to!
Sony has confirmed that players will be able to change their PSN ID’s from early 2019 and that a beta of the service will shortly go live to people who are part of the PlayStation Preview Program. During this beta phase, preview players will be able to change their PSN ID’s as many times as they want for nothing, but when the name-change feature launches to everyone in early 2019 players will get one free change and then each change thereafter will come at a cost of £7.99, or £3.99 if you’re a PlayStation Plus subscriber.
If you’re worried about changing your PSN ID and then people on your friends list not knowing who the hell you are then fear not, as you will have the option to display your previous ID alongside your new ID to keep people informed. Make sure you’ve firmly decided whether you want to display your old ID or not though, as it’s a one-time decision and you won’t be able to change your mind later.
In a blog post detailing the news, Sony noted that these PSN ID changes are “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.” Slightly worryingly though, they also noted that “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 you do run into some issues then all is not lost, as you’ll be able to revert back to your original ID at any time and this should solve any issues caused by your ID change.
This news will be music to the ears of the many PlayStation players who have been crying out for this feature for years. No longer will you have to be stuck with that now-embarrassing gaming alias that you came up with 15 years ago. Not that I’d have any experience with that type of thing. Ahem.
The preview program for this feature is scheduled to conclude at the end of November, with the full rollout to all PS4 players expected for early 2019.