We never thought the day would come, but PSN name changes are finally here. Half a year after the initial announcement was made, Sony has finally bestowed upon us the ability to change our PSN ID. No longer do you have to live with a name that’s haunted you for more than a decade.
Unfortunately, the tempting prospect is marred by the fact that changing your PSN name has some very real, and honestly quite concerning, risks. Due to some fairly knuckle-headed decision-making back in the day, everything on your PSN account is literally tied to your name. Is letting go of “LongHair69420” really worth potentially losing your trophy progress and possibly even your digital purchases.
Yes. Yes it is. Here’s why.
1. You Can Always Change Your PSN Name Back, Probably
Now, reverting to your old ID may not necessarily solve the problem of a missing purchase, and that’s a bummer. (No, seriously, it’s a giant red flag.) However, while reverting to your old ID may not solve the most pressing issues, it will solve the more sentimental ones.
If you end up realizing “SPHINCTER_MONKEY” is too good of a name to give up, you’ll always have the option to revert to your old one. Before you ask, your old ID will always be tied to your PSN account (again, probably due to the fact that your whole PSN existence is tied to that name). Even better, you’ll be able to revert to your old name an unlimited number of times, meaning the only thing you’ll truly lose is your time and the $9.99 ($4.99 for PS Plus members) it costs to change the name any time after your first change.
Well, this maybe isn’t 100% true. If your old PSN ID violates the Terms of Service, you’ll be unable to change back to your name. While most PSN names aren’t anything offensive, and are instead rather dumb, there is a chance you may not be able to take back your old namesake. It remains to be seen whether a name like, say, “FOREVER_TBAGIN” will make the cut.
2. You Can Kill the Last Remnants of Your Teenage Self
We all choose to believe that most bad PSN names are made by uneducated (and oblivious) teenagers. It’s the only logical explanation for a game like “SwagFace_McNasty.” But let’s take a moment to reflect on our high school years and how awful they really were. Do we really want to keep the last remaining ties to those terrible times alive?
It’s an accepted truth that all teenagers are bad. Sure, they may not all be criminals or JoJo Siwa, but even the least-terrible teenagers are still bad. We were all teenagers once (and some of you reading this may be teenagers), so we can accept this. Finally letting go of “who_is_the_coon1” would be akin to finally releasing that terrible burden you’ve been holding inside of you all these years.
Why would you want to be reminded of the time you drank Burnett’s Vodka mixed with Vitaminwater for fun? You’ve grown since then; you’ve become a better person. Don’t let “DaWeedGuru” define you for the rest of your life. You’re better than that, I promise you.
3. Are You Really Going to Go Back to MLB The Show 16?
Look, I get it. We all have those games we like to revisit. One of the unfortunate realities of this new initiative is that this name change simply doesn’t work with certain games. Sony tested out a variety of its own in-house games, declaring which ones were safe to use with a new name and which ones may cause problems. This also went into whether they be slight or (in Sony’s words, not mine) “critical.”
Yes, the thought of losing things like in-game currency and even save progress is slightly terrifying. The fact that the delightful Everybody’s Golf is on the list of games with critical issues is especially concerning. However, unless you’re truly dedicated to a game like MLB The Show 14 through 16, these games probably aren’t going to be regular visits in your gaming history. Besides, the list of games with no known issues far outpaces the list of games with issues, so you’re probably safe.
That’s not to diminish the true reality of this whole situation. Again, someone made the choice to have essentially all of our PSN data tied to our ID, so there was never going to be an easy solution around a future name change. If the games on these lists are games you still play with regularity, maybe a PSN ID change isn’t for you. But at least these are issues that will no longer be present with games moving forward (except for a few outstanding cases).
4. You’ll Find Out Who Your True Friends Are
One of the most convenient features of the PSN name change is the fact that you can still display your old name for 30 days following a change. It’s a good way to make sure your friends are aware that your name will be changing, so they don’t mistake you for a stranger.
Should they mistake you for a stranger, however, that may be a cue for you to cut them out of your life. If they really care about you, they’ll realize you’re no longer going by “Chilled_Weiners” and are using something a little more classy. If they’re really your friends, they will notice a new moniker and accept you with open arms. They’ll recognize that you’ve grown as a person.
The ability to display your old ID for a limited time is a great way to transition into your new life and will make the change not as abrupt for your gaming pals. Let’s just hope they notice and appreciate the change. If not, you can always change back, right?
5. You May As Well Change It Before Sony Does
Sony recently revised its policy when it comes to offensive names. Rather than being banned once reported, your name will be changed to a temporary one if your PSN ID is found to violate the terms of service. Basically, it will become something along the lines of “Tempxxx.” It’s definitely better than being banned, but you’ll have to change it using the new service anyways. So why not just bite the bullet and change your name before Sony does?
You may have an attachment to “fatboysjiggle,” but there’s a strong chance most people won’t see it the same way you do. So, why not save yourself the trouble of getting a dumb username like “Tempxxxxxxxxxx” and be forced to change it? Just change it on your own terms. You can take control of your life; it’s your destiny. Don’t let someone else do it for you.
Changing your PSN ID maybe doesn’t seem like a big risk at first, but it probably is something that should be taken under serious consideration. Sure, the chances of these “critical errors” occurring may be slim, but it’s the fact that they exist anyway that give some pause. However, there is strong incentive to take the plunge, whether it to clean out an unfortunate stain on your life or simply fix that typo you never noticed until it was too late. We’re in a new era, friends, so why not have a new name to celebrate?