Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) has been around for over eight years and has evolved considerably, but what has remained static is that none of the users’ PSN names have changed. Those who are unfortunate enough to have chosen tags that are embarrassing are stuck with them for the simple reason that Sony doesn’t allow users to change their PSN names.
If you do want to change your PSN name, you have to open a new account, lose your old PlayStation online experience—in short make a complete change, and not many want to do that as the PSN ID is linked with all user purchases, friends, saves and trophies.
Sony believes that by allowing people to change their PSN names it will be giving a few bad elements an opportunity to spoil the experience for others by trolling and then changing their avatars, changing their PSN name and then getting away with no consequences. Online names, like real names, keep people accountable and responsible. If users are allowed to change their PSN names, it would make it easy for a few to troll other players and get away under the guise of a new name.
PSN user names are different from the ones used in Steam and Xbox because they are used to identify people whereas in Steam or Xbox, users are assigned a special token that identifies them. These tokens are different from their Steam and Xbox user names, which not only makes the service safer but also makes it possible for users to change their user names frequently.
The president of Sony Computer Entertainment America noted that:
PSN wants to curb the behavior of griefers and other online malefactors, or at least not give them a tool to use.
Sony is keen on allowing users to change their names in a transparent way so that people can’t morph themselves. Whether Sony will allow users to change their names for a payment remains to be seen.
One reason to have hope is that Sony executive Shawn Layden has stated that changing your PSN account name is a long-running user request that they are looking at. Still, considering that this request has been going on for sometime, don’t hold your breath that’ll happen anytime soon or even at all.
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