[Update: PSN name change is now available.]
Just last week, a rumor began to do the rounds that game developers were preparing for the PlayStation Network name change feature. While some were skeptical of the comments from anonymous sources, others were delighted to hear that the feature was on its way. The ability to edit names on PSN has been a highly requested feature for years.
Following that report, Sony has now made the PSN name change feature official. The PS4 platform holder announced its plans today, explaining that it will "soon" begin the PSN Online ID Change feature beta. The beta will be open to members of the PlayStation Preview Program (which also helps test PS4 system updates) and select users who have pre-registered to test out system software in previous betas.
The beta will end in November 2018, indicating that it will start very soon. A full release of the feature, for all PS4 players, is planned for "early 2019," says Sony, but no specific release date or even a specific month for the full launch has been given.
Sony also explains that during the beta, testers will be able to change their PSN ID as many times as they would like. Additionally, there will be the option to display the old PSN ID alongside the new one but players won't be able to make the decision about whether or not their old name is displayed once the name change process has been completed. The first change will be free of charge, though any changes after that will cost $9.99 USD / CAD ($4.99 USD/ CAD for PlayStation Plus subscribers). Testers will also be able to revert back to their old PSN name "at any time" for free, though this can only be done once.
To change a PSN ID, users need to go to the menu under Settings or go to their profile page in order to change it. However, although changing a PSN name is easy, it won't be without its problems. Sony warns that while the name change feature will be compatible with all PS4 games published after April 1, 2018 and a majority of the "most-played" PS4 games released before that, not all PS4, PS3, and PS Vita games will support it. "Users may occasionally encounter issues or errors in certain games" as a result of the name change."
Changing a PSN name won't be an entirely pain-free process - especially for fans of older games - but it's a feature that many fans will welcome nonetheless. Sony has oft been criticized for the way it drags its heels on much-requested features but with name changing and the recent addition of PS4 cross-play, it seems like the platform holder is finally stepping up.
Source: PlayStation Blog