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Developers Suggest PSN Name Changes Will Soon Be A Reality

Three separate developers have spoke to Kotaku and said that they have been preparing for Sony finally allowing people to change their PSN name. Sony have previously said they are working on the feature but gave no timescale.

A fourth source has also shared a screenshot of internal Sony documentation which shows an “Edit Username” button on a PSN profile.

Eight months ago Sony released a survey asking if PSN users would like to be able to change their usernames, and the feature was also listed on another survey three years ago along with folders, appear offline, and other features that have since been implemented.

Sony have previously said they are aware many people would like the feature but it was technically very difficult to implement.

We still don’t know what was in PlayStation software update 6.0, the only notes for it were the usual improved stability features but it must have also included to code to allow cross-platform play for Fortnite, so maybe PSN name changes as well?

This does raise a very important question: If Sony does allow name changes, and we now have cross-platform play now… what will people moan about?

Source: Kotaku

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5 Comments
  1. MrYd
    Member
    Since: Mar 2011

    Why would 6.0 include anything for cross-platform play? That’s entirely server side stuff, since it was “accidentally” turned on in Fortnite that time, and has been working fine for years with PS4/PC people playing together.

    Changing names should need something in the system software though. It’d need a UI to change the names, and probably something to update the username stored on the console.

    Downloads for PS Now must have involved something in the 6.0 software too.

    Comment posted on 04/10/2018 at 17:40.
  2. three_leg_jake
    Member
    Since: Aug 2011

    I would guess this has taken so long to implement that the PSN name is actually used as a unique identifier in some way in some part(s) of the PS system or network.

    Comment posted on 05/10/2018 at 11:30.
    • MrYd
      Member
      Since: Mar 2011

      In some ways that’s a perfectly good choice. Your PSN name has to be unique, for obvious reasons, so why not use that as the ID for the account? Then when you go to handle the players in a game, you only need to deal with that ID and whatever data your game is storing. No need to look up a name from the ID. It’s most likely faster and saves some database work. A tiny bit faster, but with the number of players it could all add up quickly. Especially back when the PS3 launched.

      Only problem is when you try and deal changing names due to poor choices in the past. If something else was the ID, you could change the name and everything would magically update. But as the name is the ID, you’re in trouble. You could just add another table to your database to map the old ID to the new one, but then anything displaying the name would have to be updated to ask for the ID to name mapping. Which obviously won’t happen with old games. Or there’s probably some API that games use to request names that Sony could update on the server side to do it automatically. Which could cause issues if it suddenly takes twice as long to get the name of each player in a game. I suspect that would cause weird issues for some games, or completely break them.

      So the only safe way is for a name change to update the ID in every single database it’s used in. Which is probably quite a few. And do it in a way that doesn’t break anything. Make sure you can’t do anything else until it’s all updated? Not allow old names to be reused, at least for a suitably long time. (While the chances of someone picking your old name in the time it takes for all the databases to update are small, it’s probably inevitable it’ll happen)

      Even saved games might need updating. They could be tied to a username that now doesn’t exist.

      So it’s probably a very complicated job for exactly the reason you stated. Even if that reason actually sounds kind of trivial until you think about it. And when/if it does happen, I certainly wouldn’t want to risk being on of the first to try doing it. Leave it a couple of months to see what it breaks for others.

      Comment posted on 05/10/2018 at 12:01.
      • three_leg_jake
        Member
        Since: Aug 2011

        Exactly but I couldn’t be bothered to go into nearly so much detail so kudos to you. 😀

        Comment posted on 05/10/2018 at 13:49.
      • MrYd
        Member
        Since: Mar 2011

        You would think that much detail was unnecessary, but unfortunately some people seem to think changing a username is trivial and Sony should have done it years ago. So I thought I’d try and stop that nonsense before it happens ;)

        Comment posted on 05/10/2018 at 13:54.