Earlier this month, Sony announced a long-awaited feature for its gaming systems: For the first time, players can change their PlayStation Network Online IDs. A beta version of the feature can be tested on the PlayStation Preview Program until the end of November, and the full rollout is set for early 2019.
There are some caveats. For instance, even though the first name change is free, each subsequent change will cost $4.99 for PS Plus subscribers, and $9.99 for anyone else. In addition, Sony says that though the service is compatible with PlayStation 4 games published after April 1, 2018, and a “large majority” of popular games released prior, users may still “occasionally encounter issues or errors” on earlier PS4 games, or earlier PlayStation systems.
Nevertheless, PlayStation fans have generally expressed excitement for the feature, with many noting that they’ve been waiting forever for it. While other gaming systems like Microsoft’s Xbox have allowed username changes over the years, Sony has taken more than a decade to address the issue, despite user requests. Now, finally, PlayStation owners can get rid of the embarrassing names—like “XxX_BluntMaster69_XxX”—that they came up with when they were 14 years old.
Many of us had cringe-worthy first email addresses we created as young teens, only to regret it much later; PlayStation IDs are much the same. Sony—at least some employee at the company—knew this was the case, too. Last week (Oct. 10) PlayStation UK’s Twitter account cheekily @’d one user with a message that it was now possible to change their bad username.
That said, nostalgia runs deep, and for some, letting go of a decision made over a decade ago can be hard.
Still, there are plenty of IDs that everyone would agree have not aged well. Consider the many Bill Crosby-related usernames out there. This year, a Pennsylvania court found Cosby guilty of three counts of aggravated indecent assault, classified the former actor and comedian as a sexually violent predator, and sentenced him up to 10 years in prison. In 2018, no one wants to be known as “supercosbyfan69.”
Kyle Orland, senior games editor at Ars Technica, posted a Twitter thread of examples of embarrassing names out there. As Orland notes, it’s hard to be taken seriously in Killzone’s multiplayer mode with a name like “MileyFan1998.” Some other gems include: “69_sex_liker_420,” “FlyLikeAG666,” “VapeLord2000,” and “Passive_Menis.”
PlayStation users can still choose any name they want, no matter how hilarious, off-kilter, or lewd it might seem—except if it’s already taken.
As for those usernames that get shunted to the side when users take advantage of the new feature—well, PlayStation could get creative. One Twitter account that bills itself as “a parody based on the legendary British Game Designer” Peter Molyneux, suggested that PlayStation vide- game developers could incorporate these “retired” old names as narrative tool.
Goodbye, all the names that are about to go. RIP.