Sony’s opening celebration at PlayStation Experience 2017 brought a handful of major game reveals such as the MediEvil remaster. However, one of the biggest teases during the show’s opener wasn’t about a game at all.
As part of the opening celebration interviews, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment Shawn Layden sat down with Greg Miller to discuss the future of PlayStation. One topic that Miller was eager to ask Layden about was PlayStation Network names, as everyone wants to know when they will be able to change the PSN names that they chose when they first signed up for the service.
Layden played it coy with his response and explained that “the elves back at the North Pole have been working on that for quite some time.” The Sony executive also described the feature as “a large piece of work” that is “more complex” than the company anticipated.
Though, Layden told the interviewer that “I hope we’ll see events occur that you don’t have to ask me that question next PSX.” Assuming that the next PlayStation Experience will take place in December 2018, fans could have access to the PSN name change feature within the next year.
As Layden and Miller both acknowledged, the PSN name change feature has been a long time coming. Sony has addressed fan requests for the feature many times before and in 2014 Layden said that he feared that trolls could abuse it. The issue of trolling was presented as the greatest hurdle for the feature’s release at the time.
It’s currently unclear how Sony plans to get past that obstacle but one way is to make changing a PSN name cost money. This is how the Xbox Live Gamertag change service operates.
By charging online users to change their usernames, trolls will be far less inclined to take advantage of the system because it’s going to leave them out of pocket. Even making the first name change free would be effective as trolls probably won’t fancy being stuck with a silly name that they created through the freebie, either.
Although fans may be a little disappointed that Sony is not yet able to launch the most-wanted feature, most will be glad to hear that it is in the works. PSN users have been waiting years to change their usernames so hopefully an additional year won’t feel like much longer.