Technology

Sony Finally Confirms PSN Name Changes, But With Caveats

PSN Name Changes
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After years of speculations about PSN name changes, Sony has finally confirmed that users will be allowed to change their old IDs on PlayStation Network. A beta of the feature allowing users to change their usernames will start soon and end in November.

PSN name changes will finally be allowed

“We’re happy to announce that we will soon begin testing the long-awaited feature that will allow users to change their PlayStation Network Online ID from their PlayStation 4 system,” Sony said in a blog post.

Name changes have been one of the most-requested features on PlayStation Network. Users have been demanding such a feature for the past 13 years, since the PlayStation Network first launched in 2006. Microsoft came up with a similar feature several years ago. Hints about PSN name changes came last week after several developers claimed Sony was working on such a feature, but now it is official.

When announcing the development on Wednesday, Sony said PSN name changes will be made available in early 2019. However, to prevent users from repeatedly changing their usernames, Sony will charge users for multiple PSN name changes. The first name change will be free, but subsequent changes will cost $10.

If you are a PlayStation Plus member, you will get a $5 discount. Beta-testing for the PSN name changes will start soon. You can try the new feature before everyone else if you are registered for PlayStation’s preview program. Users will be able to change their online ID via the Settings menu or from their PS4 Profile page.

A few warnings from Sony

Sony says users will also have the option to display their old ID alongside the new one so their friends can easily recognize them after they change their PSN ID. However, once you decide to show or not show your old ID, you won’t be allowed to change that preference after the online ID change process is done. Sony also warns users that their new ID may not support all PS4/PS3/Vita games.

“However, please note 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,” Sony says.

The Japanese firm says the name change feature will support all PS4 games published after Apr. 1, 2018 and most popular PS4 games released before that date.

Sony also says if users experience any issues with after changing their ID, they will be allowed to revert back to their old one for free at any time. The Japanese firm says going back to the old ID should resolve most issues resulting from the PSN name changes. Further, the company announced it would come up with a list of supported games before it publicly releases the name change feature.

Another major change from Sony

Sony has been doing quite a few things it has avoided for years. Apart from allowing PSN name changes, the Japanese firm recently gave the nod to cross-play as well. A couple of weeks ago, Sony announced cross-play support for Fortnite across PS4, “Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, and Mac operating systems.”

“We recognize that PS4 players have been eagerly awaiting an update, and we appreciate the community’s continued patience as we have navigated through this issue to find a solution,” PlayStation chief John Kodera said late last month.

Previously, Sony has blocked cross-play for Fortnite, Rocket League and Minecraft. Kodera admitted that allowing cross-play is a “major” policy change for Sony. Now the gaming industry hopes Sony will eventually add cross-play support to more PS4 games to allow PC, PS4, and Xbox players to play against each other.

In other PlayStation news, Sony has confirmed its next-gen console.

Sony President and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times, “At this point, what I can say is it’s necessary to have next-generation hardware.”

He didn’t name the next-gen console, so there is still suspense on whether the next-gen PlayStation will be called the PS5 or by any other name. There is also no information on the release date. However, in May, Kodera suggested that the next PlayStation is at least three years away.

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