After years of talking about the possibility of changing your PlayStation Network handle, Sony is finally on the verge of making this seemingly basic feature a reality. The company has announced that it will soon launch a beta version of the PSN Online ID Changer for “selected” users who are part of the PlayStation Preview Program. Your name exchange will be free. After that, it will cost you $10 per change ($5 if you’re a PlayStation Plus member) to discourage abuse. The preview for the feature will end in November, but don’t worry, it should reach all PS4 owners by early 2019.
You’ll have the option to display your old ID next to your current ID in case your friends need to find you, but you’ll have to be careful. You can’t change that after you complete the renaming, Sony said.
More importantly, not all games will work well with your new ID. Although it works with all PS4 games released after April 1, 2018 and should be compatible with the “vast majority” of popular PS4 games released before that date, some PS4, PS3 and PS Vita games may produce “problems or errors”. You can, however, switch back to your original ID once for free, which should fix any issues. You’ll see a game compatibility list when the name change officially arrives.
It’s probably been a long, long time. Microsoft has allowed you to change your gamertag since the Xbox 360 era, which is over a decade ago. However, it’s clearer why Sony was cautious. Like Microsoft, it had to consider a pricing strategy that would discourage griefers (who might change their name just to keep harassing others) without punishing people who just want to get rid of an embarrassing ID from their teenage years. Combine that with compatibility issues and Sony risked creating a lot of headaches for gamers just to offer this convenience alone.
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