Earlier today, Playstation announced via its official blog that name changes on the Playstation Network will be rolling out today. There are some good signs, but there’s still some uncertainty.
If you’re like me, you have an old PSN name that isn’t particularly great. In fact, it probably sucks if you’ve been around since the PS3 era. It’s perplexed people for quite awhile that Microsoft has always allowed Gamertag name changes, whereas Sony never allowed it on PS3 nor ever on PS4, or any other Sony operated system. It seemed like a no-brainer, but it’s probably because of dumb coding issues that are nearly a decade and a half old. Now that has changed… somewhat.
The name change will only apply on PS4 and be incompatible with anything else- you won’t be able to do a name change on a PS3, PSP, or PS Vita, and name changes to your account won’t carry over there. When the announcement first dropped back in October of last year, Sony warned that there might be issues with your game library, including the possibility losing game saves or straight up not working altogether. Sony has tested a number of games available on its platform, and the list of “critical issue” games is quite small, and largely reflective of older titles that either receive yearly updates anyway or simply aren’t supported much anymore… outside of LittleBigPlanet 3 (surprising), and an actual good game in Everybody’s Golf, which is literally the reason I won’t be changing my PSN name, because I’m not giving up that up >:[
Anyway, you’ll notice that there aren’t any fighting games on the Critical Issues list, or even the Issues Identified list. Part of the reason for that, however, is the number of fighting games actually tested. Ultra Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Injustice: Gods Among Us, Mortal Kombat X/XL, The King of Fighters XIV, Dead or Alive 5 Last Round, BlazBlue CentralFiction, Dragon Ball FighterZ, and Skullgirls 2nd Encore all tested with no issues. Injustice 2, however, did test with some minor issues. And remember, Sony has already stated that any game released after April 1st, 2018 will not have any problems with the name change, so newer fighting game titles (including BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, Fighting EX Layer, and Soul Calibur VI) won’t have any problems with it. There are still plenty of titles that don’t show up on the tested list at all, including Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, UNIST, and a majority of the SNK ports of NeoGeo titles such as Samurai Shodown V Special or SNK’s port of Garou: Mark of the Wolves. It’s likely that they were not tested simply because they do not have the same scale of active playerbase as the other titles that were tested, but there is still some uncertainty, particularly with a game like Guilty Gear which still does boast a sizable audience of players.
Still, it’s good news that the majority of modern, relevant fighting games won’t be touched negatively by PSN name changes. It still kind of sucks that every FromSoftware game has some level of issue with the name changes (another reason I won’t be switching), and there are plenty of other good titles that have some level of interference with PSN name changes, but fighting games seem largely exempt. Still, exercise caution, as name change issues could always be an issue with future patches from Sony, or any number of reasons a future issue could arise that simply isn’t known entirely at this time.