After making users wait for so many years, Sony finally added the feature that allows users to change their PSN IDs. With the new PSN names, Sony has also changed its policy regarding offensive PlayStation usernames.
New policy for offensive names
Before the new PSN names feature, Sony simply banned players with offensive names. Now instead of banning such accounts, the Japanese company is automatically changing the offensive names.
Gamasutra spotted this new change in the frequently-asked questions about the PSN name change feature. Now if someone reports you online or if Sony itself finds your name to be offensive, your PSN name will automatically change to a temporary ID like Temp345678 or Temp902716.
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“If you find that your online ID is now ‘Tempxxx’, this change was caused by a report from another player and an investigation by moderation staff, with a finding that your online ID has breached the PSN Terms of Service,” Sony says in the FAQs.
Affected users will be allowed to change this temporary ID to something not offensive. This means if you are changing your old PSN ID and the new one is found to be offensive, you can either return to the old name or change it to a new clean ID.
Sony’s new rule applies to all who are using the PSN name change feature. This new rule from Sony is better than the earlier one of banning the player. It is presumably easier for players, who now just need to change their names rather than create a new account.
This change should also be more effective in restricting players from choosing offensive names because of the social policing factor. Other players will now know why a player has a name starting with “Temp.” Moreover, no player would like to play with the name “Temp.”
Users are having mixed reactions to the new rule using “Temp” names. Some referred to earlier days when “people kept asking others to report their name as offensive to get a free name change.” Many also showed concern for those who might have faced a ban just days before the launch of the new PSN names rule.
“Rip those who got banned a few days before the change lol,” one Reddit user said.
New PSN name suggestions from Sony
If you wish to change your old PSN ID or even a new offensive one but are not sure what name to choose, Sony has you covered. The company is also suggesting new PSN names. Although the majority of Sony’s name change suggestions are awful, some are great. The suggested name is a combination of a noun and adjective separated by underscores, numbers or dashes.
According to Kotaku’s Ethan Gach, there seems to be no real logic in the suggested names. However, Gach notes that some words appear far more frequently than others, such as “jaded,” “riotous,” “debt” and “crib.”
You may also try this feature if you are searching for a new PSN name. Sony may suggest something perfect for you.
Here’s what you need to know about PSN name changes
Sony’s PSN name change feature is great for those who chose embarrassing usernames when they were kids but now are ashamed of them. Such users can now change their name free one time, but every subsequent change will cost $10/£8. For PlayStation Plus users, the rates are $5/£4.
To change your PSN name on the PS4, go to the Settings. Next, select Account Management > Account Information > Profile > Online ID. Enter the new PSN name or choose an auto-generated suggestion and then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the change.
It must be noted that the name change feature is in preview, meaning users may encounter bugs or issues. Sony also admits this. The company says the name change feature should support all games published after April 1, 2018, but that doesn’t appear to the case. Sony has even provided a list of games it has found issues with. Some of the issues are critical, while others are expected and won’t affect gameplay. Sony advises users who play the games listed with critical issues not to use the name change feature.