After years of fan demand, Sony plans to let PlayStation Network users change their online handles. The company today announced that it will roll out the ability for participants in the PlayStation Preview Program soon, with the feature made available to all early next year.
As with Microsoft's Gamertag change service, Sony will be using the feature as a revenue stream. PSN users will be allowed to change their name the first time for free, but will be charged $10 USD/CAD for each subsequent change. PlayStation Plus subscribers will get a break on the fee, being able to change handles for $5 USD/CAD. Users will also have the option to display their older ID alongside their new one so friends can identify them, but they must make that call at the time of the change and won't be able to reverse it later.
Sony's announcement of the feature also included a suggestion that some still-unsolved technical issues have been to blame for the feature's belated arrival.
"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," Sony said. "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."
If players run into problems, Sony's suggestion is to revert their PSN ID back to the original name (which they may do for free once), saying that will resolve "most" issues players run into.