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Sony officially launches PSN name change feature

It's been a long time coming, but PlayStation Network subscribers can now do something they've only dreamed about before: change their PSN name. Sony announced the feature's official launch today, providing details about how it'll all work on the Official PlayStation Blog.

At the moment, there are two places a PSN subscriber can change their username: on their PlayStation 4 via the Settings menu, and on the PlayStation website using a web browser. The process — which is free for the first change and $9.99 for each change thereafter — appears fairly straightforward, which is good. And Sony actually one-upped some of its competitors by making it easy to see if any of your friends change their names. For thirty days following a name change, a user's previous ID will be shown next to their new one. This'll go a long way toward helping you keep your friends straight as they finally break free of that embarrassing PSN name they've had since middle school.

Are there any downsides to this? Yes, potentially. Sony originally claimed that all games published on or after April 1, 2018 would support name changes without question. The company appears to be walking that back now, stating that not all games have been tested yet, so Sony "cannot guarantee that they will support it." And as for games published prior to that date, Sony ran down a list of issues you could run into, including: having other players see your old name; losing game progress or Trophy progress; and losing access to paid content like DLC.

So changing your PSN name does come with a bit of risk. But if you mostly play newer games, you're likely in the clear.

PlayStation Network name changes were something PlayStation fans have wanted since the PS3, so it's nice to see Sony finally implement the feature. As we look ahead to the PlayStation 5 (or whatever it's called), it'll only help Sony to add this feature now — especially if the company's future console plans to support backward compatibility, as some patents have revealed.