Sony announced Wednesday, October 10, it was going to start testing a name change feature for PSN IDs. The tests will begin as part of the PlayStation Preview Program, through which select testers who have previously registered for PlayStation 4 system software betas will be granted access.
After years of talking about the possibility of changing your PlayStation Network handle, Sony is finally close to making that seemingly basic feature a reality. The company has announced that it will soon launch a PSN Online ID Change beta for “select” users who are part of the PlayStation Preview Program. Your first name swap will be free. After that, it’ll cost $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 show your previous ID alongside your current one in case your friends need to find you, although you’ll want to be careful. You can’t change that after completing the name change, Sony said.
More importantly, not every game will play nicely with your new ID. While it’ll work with every PS4 game published after April 1st, 2018 and should be compatible with the “large majority” of popular PS4 games released before then, some PS4, PS3 and PS Vita games might produce “issues or errors.” You can, however, revert once to your original ID for free, and that should fix any glitches. You’ll see a game compatibility list when name changing officially arrives.
PlayStation Network IDs have been set in stone since Sony’s online service launched in 2006, alongside the PlayStation 3. The option to change your PSN ID has been a longstanding request from PlayStation users, but while similar services have offered the option to change users’ display names over the years, Sony took more than a decade to address it. At last year’s PlayStation Experience, chairman of SIE Worldwide Studios Shawn Layden said he hoped to give PlayStation owners an update on Sony’s progress on that front by the end of this year.
The beta will run for November 2018, and the full rollout of the feature to all PS4 owners is planned for early 2019.