Sony has recently sent out surveys to a select few members of the PlayStation Network in an attempt to figure out how many gamers are actually interested in the feature that would allow them to change their PSN IDs. This is a weird approach as PSN users have always been very vocal regarding the situation. Nevertheless, it is an excellent sign that indicates the company might finally be providing – or at least “exploring the possibility” – of adding the feature in the coming future.
According to the information provided by a source who has given the details about the survey, Sony might allow PSN users the ability to change their usernames without any additional cost. However, they would only be able to do so once every six months, and trying to go back to older usernames would require a conversation with customer support. This is a much better alternative than what Xbox Live offers in terms of having to pay $10 each time a user wants to change their username on the platform.
The real reason for why Sony has not allowed PSN name changes until now is unclear. Sony has previously mentioned that it was an intentional decision to discourage ‘griefers’ from ruining other players’ gaming experience on the network. On the other hand, many speculate that this might be a technical issue where users’ account details are stored in a folder that is uneditable after a PSN ID is associated to it. If this is the case, Sony might have had to develop a workaround that would allow users’ data and PSN ID to be separated so that usernames would work independently without any loss of user data.
With that said, the questionnaire does mention that there is no guarantee of this feature coming out. Sony assures that the surveyor’s “opinions on the matter will be heard”, but it cannot be sure if the “feature will be added or not”. Such a statement contradicts the stance that Shawn Layden, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, had taken during PSX last year. Layden had assured that the company was “working on it” and that he hoped “we’ll see events occur that you won’t have to ask me that question next PSX.” Sony hasn’t made any official comments regarding this survey, so we will have to wait and see how the situation develops in the coming days.