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After years of waiting and months of rumours, Sony has finally made the announcement everyone was waiting for: you’ll soon be able to change your embarrassing PSN name.

It’s the circle of life.

Some 13-year old boy, thinking he’s Billy Big Bollocks, picks an embarrassing PSN name. Maybe it’s not so bad (like, erm, BillyBigBollocks). Chances are, though, it’s something much worse.

Fast forward several years, and Mr Bollocks is no longer proud of his online handle. He’d rather people not associate him with an offensively sexist/weed reference/meme from 2007. He’s probably got grown-up friends, colleagues, and maybe a girlfriend. He doesn’t want them knowing his secret identity, like a disgusting, degenerate Dark Knight.

He wants to change his PSN name.

Anywhere else in the world, you can change it. Microsoft – in true dealer style – allow you your first hit for free before charging you for subsequent changes, but they still allow it.

But in Sony’s little walled garden, PSN name changes have always been off the menu. And to be fair to Sony, it can’t have been an easy thing to fix. To be technical boring for a moment, that user ID – warts and all – is the players’ primary key in the PSN database. To change it would break many things, and Sony has by all accounts, been trying to figure out how to allow name changes (and presumably, shunt the primary key to something less mortifying) without breaking everything.

These changes have been rumoured for lord knows how long, but Sony has today finally confirmed that players will be allowed to change their PSN names for the first time.

PSN name changes will be offered first as part of PS4 system software beta, for users who are registered as testers. As with Microsoft’s approach, your first hit will be free, while subsequent changes will cost $9.99 USD / CAD (UK and EU pricing to be confirmed). For PlayStation Plus members, these changes will cost $4.99 USD / CAD.

And that’s it. That’s the news. Seems almost anticlimactic after all that waiting, doesn’t it?

Well, at least BillyBigBollocks will be able to pick a more sensible PSN name, and a bunch of embarrassing handles will (presumably) once again be available for the next generation of 13-year old boys to make a horrible, awful mistake.

It’s the circle of life.

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