Despite strong pre-order numbers for both the PS4 and the Xbox One it’s hard to imagine either of the two next-gen consoles’ manufacturers wouldn’t want even more of a leg up. As such, gamers have been treated to a regular series of announcements these last few months in which one console maker, be it Sony or Microsoft, highlights a feature their competitor either won’t offer at all, or won’t have available at launch.
The latest advantage for Sony (depending on how you look at it) is the use of Real Name IDs, which the PS4 will support when it hits North American shores on November 15th. The Xbox One, on the other hand, will not offer such a feature out of the box, although Microsoft will eventually patch it in.
Sony confirmed the news to Kotaku, but was very adamant about explaining that this is not an all-or-nothing option. Gamers will still be able to play any of their PS4 games using their SEN name, or if they choose they can switch to their real name on the fly.
Although not a game-changer, the use of Real Name IDs is important for both Microsoft and Sony, as it helps boost the social nature of the next-gen online experience. Rather than look at fellow players as faceless teammates/opponents, the use of real names, in Microsoft and Sony’s eyes, will encourage players to engage with each other on a more personal level. Think of Real Name IDs like using Facebook for the comments section.
However, if Sony is the first out the door with the feature — not just because their console releases first — they become the guinea pig and the pioneer. If gamers adopt the use of real names, then Sony will have been the first, but if they don’t, Microsoft can scrap their plans and put their focus elsewhere. We’ll see how gamers respond to the use of real names for online gaming in less than a month.
Do you think being able to use real names for your friends list is a useful feature? Or would you rather be known as your Gamertag/SEN name?
The PS4 releases November 15, 2013.