Stuck with a rubbish PSN ID - Now is the time for change

by Ben Salter Featured 14 Comments 28 Votes 47588 Views 28/10/2013 Back to Articles

Well, well, well. You’ve screwed me again, PSN.

The inability to change the network ID I made in 8 seconds and didn’t realise was going to be quite so permanent when I was 17 isn’t a new problem. But as the burgeoning era of the PlayStation 4 approaches its inauguration, it’s become an embarrassing inconvenience that isn’t going to go away.

We have a conundrum.


Should I cut my losses, lose trophies, severe ties with virtual friends and start afresh next generation with a gamer handle that matches Xbox Live, Steam, and even my neglected Wii U? Or do I tough it out, accept whatever my username currently is, and hope that Sony either eventually allows name changes or is serious about this real name business pushing gamertags into early retirement?

People change. But our user accounts, more and more often, do not. Online and gaming IDs need to be able to evolve with us, and the PlayStation Network is one of the biggest culprits for not allowing it.

I’ve just stumbled upon the shameful realisation that I don’t even know what my handle is on PSN (why is it different to the user account I sign in with? — imbeciles!), which tells me I need to change it.

While deplorable for someone who writes about games for a living, I rarely play multiplayer games on PS3, and on the odd occasion I’ve been known to dabble, it’s never been with the 40 or so friends that must have added me five years ago.

So then, we’re settled. I’m happy to become a born-again PlayStation fanboy (I’m thinking of giving the ol’ PS greater prominence next-generation) with an agnate gamer handle across all my platforms.

Only, like trying to remember your super-secret security question about your parents’ wedding anniversary that you definitely never authorised at the bank, it’s not that easy.

What happens to my existing PlayStation Plus subscription? Do I abandon the remaining six months in favour of a network ID that I can actually remember? And how important are trophies going to become? I don’t care about them right now, but that doesn’t mean I want to be mistaken for an incompetent ninny without a trophy history.


This is the problem with old user accounts becoming a mainstay of gaming — and digital life — beyond their intended lifespans. If I had known my 2007 username was going to be carrying weight in 2017, I’d probably have put some more thought into it, and devised something equally ridiculous. At least I would have tried, but regardless that’s why we need an option to be able to change usernames. People change. But our user accounts, more and more often, do not. Online and gaming IDs need to be able to evolve with us, and the PlayStation Network is one of the biggest culprits for not allowing it.

Keeping a seven-year-old derisive PSN ID is like using your Year 9 Hotmail account to manage all of your pertinent financial information. You know it’s not a good idea, but you didn’t do anything about it when there was time. Now it’s too late, and killafoxybabe69@hotmail.com is emailing his accountant to explain why her service fees are unreasonable.

Don’t let that happen with your PlayStation identity. Losing trophies and abandoning prepaid PlayStation Plus is an annoyance, but being stuck with a nonsensical PSN ID in 2023 will be a disaster. If there’s ever a time to resolve your childhood blunder, it’s to greet the PlayStation 4.

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Stuck with a rubbish PSN ID - Now is the time for change Comments

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I'm kind of pissed off that I can't change "NarutoNinjaKid69"

@Tano said: I'm kind of pissed off that I can't change "NarutoNinjaKid69"



Good thing I didn't go with Niko2Roman
I'm having to give up the only two Platinum trophies if/when I ever decide to get a PS4.

This is almost on par with the age restrictions Sony has where they don't get lifted even when you're 18. It's like Sony doesn't believe people age or want to get past an old (childish) identity.
When will we get paypal on psn and the ability to delete games with 0% trophy data?
I both love and loth my psn name at the same time TJHOOKERMAN
very happy with AUSTRALIANMADE took me a while to think of it. original one was MadridNET which lasted probably 1 year.
very happy with AUSTRALIANMADE took me a while to think of it. original one was MadridNET which lasted probably 1 year.

luke_skip said: When will we get paypal on psn and the ability to delete games with 0% trophy data?

You can do both now, although Paypal has to be done via the webstore.
have stuck with my handle for awhile now which was D22STRoyer cause i had a nissan D22str ute and decided to add the D22STRoyer cause it was all i could think of at the time but with next gen approaching ive decided its time for a change, so now my handle for every console will be 'CatalystFire' *_*
its all well and good to create a new one but all my ps3 and vita are tied to my current username and i have ps plus on it aswell.

i want to keep my trophies also so the only way to change it is to hope sony allows us to
Currently thinking of a new name, starting a new PSN for Ps4 and onwards.
I'm probably making a new ID for PS4. The content I have on my current one probably won't be usable on PS4 anyway.
And this is exactly why I put so much thought into my online nick - "Cyba Cowboy" (and its variations, such as "cyba_cowboy", etc...) is the same username I have been using for nearly fifteen years... Used across virtually all forums, gaming services and anything "social".

My real name is used for anything personal or where my real name would offer some sort of authority/importance, and I have another nick (intentionally completely random and unrelated to those above) that is used exclusively for those forums and sites ( ;) )...
yeah i kinda change my name every generation or console... from the original xbox (deplorable) to the 360 (indefinable), and then to the PS3 (propinquity)... really wanted to change it with the PS4 but then i lose all my trophies (something that wasn't prevalent when the PS2/Xbox and before).

decisions decisions....

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