After years of outcry from fans, Sony finally announced they will soon allow users to change their PlayStation Network Online ID from their PlayStation 4 system. The feature’s introduction will begin as part of the PlayStation Preview Program before rolling out to everyone.
According to a recent blog post, users will be able to change their online ID as many times as they want. Of course, after the first change, any subsequent changes will cost $9.99 USD / CAD. This cost is dropped to $4.99 for PlayStation Plus members. The changes will be available through the Settings menu or Profile page directly on the PS4.
For those who are worried about recognizing their friends, account holders will have the option to display their old ID next to their new one. Strangely enough, once a choice is made to display the old ID or not, players will be locked into this display without options to adjust it later.
To add another wrinkle to the update, the feature will be available on a per game basis. According to Sony, “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.”
To ease concerns for users who encounter errors, Sony ensured players will be able to revert to their original ID at any time. Of course, players will only be able to do this once during the PlayStation Preview Program.
The new feature will be in beta until it concludes the preview at the end of November 2018, and players will be able to view a list of all compatible games published before April 1, 2018 when the updated feature finally launches early 2019.
TGC’s Thoughts: I find it entertaining how everyone picks on Nintendo for never quite getting online right. Though Sony does many things right for their online services, the inability to change user IDs for so long has been an extremely baffling one. Usually primary indicators for user data is based on a separate identifier like email address or phone numbers, so it’s baffling to place so much weight on these user IDs. Even in the update, charging nearly $10 per change seems absurd. Regardless, it is great to see Sony step up to finally address this issue, and I am sure they will iron out the wrinkles in time for the feature’s 2019 debut.