PSN name changes are finally becoming a reality after years of being one of PlayStation's most-requested features; the option to edit your screen name is coming to the PlayStation Preview Program "soon" and will roll out to everyone next year. The new feature comes with a handful of caveats (especially in its preview version), so you'll have to judge for yourself whether finally cutting ties with your embarrassing old persona is worth the potential hassle.
A post on the PlayStation Blog runs down the details for how the name change service will work. Note that anything and everything is subject to change as the feature goes from preview to full release, depending on how it works and other user feedback.
How can I change my PSN name?
Once the update goes live to the PlayStation Preview Program, you will be able to change your online ID through either the Settings menu or Profile page of your PS4. There's no announced way to make the change via PC or mobile device. If you're not in the Preview Program, the feature will not be available until Sony gives it an official full release.
When can I change my PSN name?
If you're already in the PlayStation Preview Program, you'll be able to try out the PSN name change feature "soon," and keep name-swapping away through the end of November when the preview is scheduled to end. If you aren't already a Preview Program member, expect the feature to go live in early 2019.
How many times can I change my PSN name?
You will be able to change your PSN ID as many times as you want. However, only the first change will be free. After that, each change will cost $4.99/£3.99 for PS Plus members or $9.99 £7.99 for non-members. You will also be able to display your old ID along with your new one if you want friends to recognize you, however you can only enable or disable this feature when you make the actual name change - after that it's locked.
Are there any potential complications for changing my PSN ID?
Sony says PSN name changes will be fully compatible with all PS4 games published after April 1, 2018, and the "large majority of the most played PS4 games" from before then as well. It does warn that not all games and applications for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita will support the change and you may encounter some issues using them with a new ID. There will be a way to fix these problems, but you may not like it...
Can I change my PSN name back to the old one?
You can revert to your old PSN name at any point for free (though you'll only be able to do it once during the Preview Program). This will be useful if you encounter problems with an older game or application, or if you simply decide that you liked your old name better than the new one. It doesn't sound like you'll get your money back if you paid for the name change, though.
New name or old, make sure you don't miss any big upcoming titles by consulting our handy list of video game release dates.