Not long ago, Sony announced that gamers will finally be able to change their PSN name, a feature that Microsoft has offered Xbox Live users for years. The first name change would be free and then ten dollars thereafter for each change.

The feature is rolling out with the beta version of firmware 6.10, for which invites are currently being sent. Along with the new feature is a list of warnings of what could happen if a user changes their name. To Sony’s credit, when they first announced that the name change feature was coming, they did warn that the process would not go smoothly in every instance. I’m not going to pretend to know what’s involved with implementing a feature like this, especially into a network that’s never offered the feature before, but the list of potential risks involved is absurd.

  • Not all games and applications for PS4, PS3, PS Vita, and other PlayStation systems support the Online ID change feature.
  • If you change your Online ID, you may lose access to content (including paid-for content) that you have acquired for your games, including content like add-ons and virtual currency.
    You may lose your progress within games, including game saved data, leaderboard data and progress toward trophies.
  • Parts of your games and applications might not function properly, both online and offline.
  • Your previous Online ID(s) may remain visible to you and other players in some places.

I can’t imagine anybody regretting their PSN name so much that they would risk losing their save progress, trophy progress, and downloadable content that they’ve previously purchased. Again, I don’t know what a process like this entails and I’m sure most of these risks are out of Sony’s control, but they can’t possibly think this is acceptable. Nobody in their right mind would risk losing so much just to change their handle, especially if your handle won’t even change in certain situations.

What’s worse is that reverting back to your old Online ID won’t fix any issues that occurred, so if you lost your saves or your DLC, you’re out of luck. To be fair, the feature is in beta, so there’s always the chance that some of these issues will be ironed out before the new firmware sees an official launch, but given the nature and severity of the issues, I wouldn’t bet on it.

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