Why can’t I change my PlayStation Network ID yet?
While the popular belief behind the inability to change your PSN ID lies within technical limitations, Sony’s Shawn Layden is on the record stating that the reason Sony wouldn’t allow it for the longest time is because of griefing concerns. In an interview with IGN in 2014, Layden said,
“…as you’ll understand, we don’t want to make it so that you can go in, grief a bunch of people in Far Cry, change your avatar, change your username, go into CoD and grief everybody over there. We want to stop that.”
When further prompted as to if this user transparency issue was the biggest reason for the hold up, Layden confirmed that it was.
This seemed like a cop-out answer to those who held firm that technical limitations were the cause, considering that Xbox users have had this ability for years and the community hasn’t had problems with it. When Sony announced that the ability to change your PSN ID was coming soon, the announcement also hinted that there actually may have been technical limitations holding the company back aside from concerns over abusing the feature.
The announcement states,
“This feature is compatible with PS4 games originally published after April 1, 2018, and a large majority of the most-played PS4 games that were released before this date. 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.”
When will I be able to change my PSN ID?
Sony aims to have this ability available for everyone sometime early in 2019. Unfortunately, it’s already two full months into 2019 and we’re still waiting for an exact date that the company plans to release it worldwide. Until then, select users in the PlayStation Preview Program will be testing out the name change feature in beta first.
Are there any limitations to changing my PSN ID?
Aside from the aforementioned errors that may occur in certain games and apps, there apparently won’t be too many limitations to this feature. Users will be able to change their name as many times as they want (so long as the name still adheres to Sony’s guidelines and censors), but only the first name change will be free of charge. After that, subsequent changes will cost $9.99 each for non-PlayStation Plus members and $4.99 each for PS Plus members.
Why bother buy PlayStation Plus for the ID change discount when I’ll be spending more for PS Plus itself?
You might ask yourself why you should spend $60 or even $25 on a PS Plus membership when you’re only saving $5 for a name change. PlayStation Plus is good for much more than just getting a discount every time you change your PSN ID. For as long as you’re a subscriber, you will get access to exclusive discounts on hundreds of games, the ability to play online multiplayer with your friends, and you’ll receive two free games each month on PS4.
Though the ability to change your PSN ID hasn’t materialized yet, Sony plans to implement it soon. And users wishing to do so frequently are better off picking up a PlayStation Plus membership for the benefits.
PlayStation Plus 3 Month Membership
Give yourself a taste of Plus
If you’re not ready to commit to a full year membership, pick up a 3-month PS Plus subscription to get a better taste of what it offers. You’ll still be able to get that PSN ID change discount along with two free games each month over the course of your subscription.