A gaming username is very close to every gamer’s heart. It is, essentially, the expression of who that person is in the realm of gaming. When we see a random stranger playing with us online, the first thing we notice is their gaming ID. This is the first measurement and impression of what that person is all about and if that first impression isn’t good, then it can be pretty tough to turn that around. We’ve all been through the cringe infested teenage years of our lives. Most of the gamers choose their names during that period of their lives. As you grow older, you gradually start to realise that maybe choosing to have ‘xX_D3m0n_SLaYe4_5000_Xx’ as your gaming ID might not have been the best decision of your life.
Thankfully, most platforms like Steam or Xbox Live allow users to change their usernames so they don’t have to hide their profiles from their friends in shame. However, if you’re in the PlayStation camp, you probably still have your old ID (unless you’ve made another account just to avoid embarrassment). If you’re one of those people, I have some very good news for you. In a blog post today, Sony finally announced the ability to change your old PSN ID. This comes after years of requests by the fans for this feature. Sony did launch a beta program back in October to check the feasibility of the feature though so we knew this was coming. Anyway, let’s see how to actually change your PSN ID.
Where and How to Change PSN ID?
There are two options available to users here. You can either change your PlayStation Network ID on a web browser or directly on your console. Just follow these steps:
- On your PlayStation 4, go to Settings.
- Select Account Management and go into Account Information.
- Click on the Profile Option and select Online ID. It will prompt you to enter a new Online ID for your PSN account.
- Enter any Online ID of your choice (provided that it is available) or you can also select one from the ones suggested by PlayStation.
- Just follow the on-screen steps to finish and save the change in your PSN ID.
- On the PlayStation Website, sign into your PSN account and select the PSN profile you wish to change the ID of.
- Click the Edit button that now appears next to your Online ID.
- Enter any Online ID of your choice provided that it has not been taken already or just select one from the given suggestions.
- Just follow the steps given on the screen to complete the change and get a new PSN ID.
How much does changing the PSN ID cost?
Thankfully, Sony has taken a leaf out of Microsoft’s book here. The first time you change your PSN ID is absolutely free. However, if you wish to change your ID again for the second time, it is going to cost you. All subsequent changes in a PSN ID will cost $9.99 USD for normal users, and $4.99 USD for PlayStation Plus users. You will be able to change your name as many times as you want though, as long as you’re willing to pay for it.
What happens to the old PSN ID?
Once you’ve changed your ID, you’ll have two options. You can either just make your old one vanish or have it appear next to your new ID in your profile for 30 days. This will be of help if your friends haven’t been informed of the change and they still search your profile using your old username. This option can only be selected during the process of changing your ID and cannot be selected afterwards, so be careful. Other than that, your old ID will still be safely stored in the PSN servers for potentially an indefinite amount of time. You can revert back to any of your old PSN IDs if you wish at any time for free by contacting the PlayStation Support. However, your reverting back request does need to comply with the PSN Terms of Service.
What problems could you face?
Since this feature has already been thoroughly tested during the beta run in October, not many problems are expected to arise. However, nothing comes without any flaws and this might cause some potential problems as well. According to Sony, only a small number of games might have issues with the change. Following are the potential issues users could face after changing their PSN IDs:
- Your new online ID might not appear in some games and those games might still show your older PSN ID to you and to other players as well.
- You could potentially lose some progress in some games. This includes save game data, trophies and leaderboards.
- There is a chance that some of the games or applications would just not function properly after the change. The chances of this happening are pretty slim though.
- You could potentially lose in-game purchases or DLCs that you might have bought for games including add-ons and virtual currency.
So, in essence, you need to be very careful before changing your ID as it might end up costing you a lot if it doesn’t go well. However, if you experience any issues, you could always revert back to your old PSN ID to resolve most issues. According to Sony, most games published after April 1, 2018 support the online ID change but full compatibility with all games is not guaranteed. Here is a list of all the games that fully support the change. In any case, giving players an escape option to revert back is a nice touch by Sony.
Why did the feature take so long?
Honestly, if I told you that I know why Sony took so long to bring such an essential feature to their online service, I’d be lying. There is just no justification for this. Sony has been lagging behind the competition in terms of their online service since forever now. PSN still continues to be an unstable platform that has a substantial amount of downtime every month. The security of the platform isn’t really excellent either, with hackers getting into accounts frequently. Most of the competitors have had the ability to change username for well over a decade now, so what is up with Sony? This is such an important feature for any credible online service and I cannot believe how they managed to get away with it for so long. Players had been asking for this for decades.
Back in the PS3 days, PSN being bad was kind of understandable as it was still a free service for online play. However, there is no excuse for Sony to be falling behind after introducing PlayStation Plus now. Sony is the market leader this generation without any doubt and it needs to actually start acting like it. But then, maybe dominating the console market for so many years can make you complacent. Nevertheless, this is a step in the right direction and I really hope that the trend continues. No one wants Sony to get over-confident about their market domination and screw-up their next strategy for the next generation of consoles (looking at you, 2012 Microsoft). At the end of the day, we want all the companies to push each other and improve. Competition will always be good for the consumer.