PS4 Will Let You Use Your Real Name Online At Launch

PS4 Will Let You Use Your Real Name Online At Launch

Sony will let users of their new console use their real names on the PlayStation 4's online service when the system launches on November 15, the company has confirmed to Kotaku. This is an option, not a mandate. It's also a point of distinction between PS4 and Xbox One.

Microsoft, which also wants to allow owners of their new console to use their real names online, won't be offering that option until some time after launch.

Gamers who enjoy being anonymous and playing under nicknames probably won't care about this option on either platform. But Sony and Microsoft have both been talking about allowing a real-name option to make their online networks more inviting to wider audiences. Social networks like Facebook tend to utilise real names; whereas the online services for current Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo consoles have not. It remains to be seen if the real-name option will have its own pitfalls, such as potentially opening PSN and Xbox Live users to more personal harassment (both networks' systems for reporting troublesome users could counteract that.)

Sony has said that people who use the real-name option on the PS4's PlayStation Network will still be able to play games with nicknames/aliases. This isn't an all-or-nothing, named-or-anonymous proposition.

The PS4 will be out on November 15. The Xbox One, which will be compared to the PS4 (and vice versa) for about the next half decade or so, will be out a week later.


    Totally don't get why you'd want to.

      Yeah its the internet. Why would you want to?

        Maybe some people think having a crazy stalker will make their otherwise dull lives more interesting??

          Ofcourse. Can't believe I didn't think of that. I really can't, kinda weird.

            Considering PSN's past track record on account security, you'd have to be naive to think this is a 'good' option for Sony to take or that this is a positive for the PSN network.

            Personal account security and identity protection would have to be a seen as a priority positive for an online environment, not the damn opposite!

      As long as I can limit it to people I know in real life. (eg people on both my PSN and Facebook friends lists) then I'd use it. But no, not for random strangers.

      I don't get it either. Why make it even easier for the 12 year old prick you just beat in CoD to find your home address and send a SWAT team around? :\

      Yawwwnnn Psn is terrible anyways...
      yeah well it can't be any worse than them losing peoples personal information and credit card details when PSN got hacked lol

    Its like a constant pissing contest with MS and Sony, but with MS always pissing first, missing, then Sony nailing it second.

      I wouldnt call that nailing it....ppl rejoyced when MS reversed that idea.....but im pro choice, good to know i have the option of finding someone stupid enough to use there real name.

      That's absolute horse shit son.

      PSN has been hacked in the past, not XBLA.

    I wouldn't (nor do I understand why anyone would) want to use my real name anyway.

      100%. I expect this option to be taken up by approximately 2 users at launch.

    This seems like a great idea for the thousands of girl gamers who take constantly take shit for not being a dude. They get to have their abuse personalised. Yay. :S This is a good move by Sony, but Xbone is lagging again. Are MS doing this on purpose, or is the gaming division run being run by the Zune geniuses?

    Last edited 24/10/13 9:51 am

      As a "girl gamer" *shudder* it's not that hard to pick a feminine-geared user name, but the internet just assumes that everyone is a straight, white male until proven otherwise. That's where the trouble starts.

      BAM! I knew uni would come in handy one day!

        Maybe not the internet (wait, who'm I kidding??), but other gamers assume it, and when they find out you're something different that's when the bullshit starts. I've seen douchebags go out of their way (ie, sever hopping, amongst other things) to target some of my mates purely because they're women. If they have to use their real names, this is just going to cause them more BS, especially if it's linked to things like FB.

        Last edited 24/10/13 4:21 pm

          Yeah, I've had some crap come up because I have the audacity to have boobs and a need to play games. But I take it in my stride and just beat them to death in-game.

    Microsoft is integrating the ability to use the real name with a number of social/newsfeed type features. Instead of putting games on Facebook, they're basically putting Facebook on games. However, I suspect that people aren't really going to understand it all right away (or understand why it's something they'd even want to do).
    Microsoft delaying the used of real names is probably a consideration towards user privacy because they know there will be teething issues (most likely of the PEBCAK variety rather than an issue inherent in the system).

    So, I hope Sony know what they're doing? This is hardly a critical feature, so I hope their eagerness to be first doesn't backfire.

    It'd be good if you had your real name on your profile, then your username visible to everyone when playing games. Usernames are a blockade between people that are sometimes utilized to be an asshole without consequence.

    Pfft. That's nothing.
    I hear that Nintendo is going to let you display your credit card details!
    Now THAT'S forward thinking, people!

    *Note, due to the length, some credit card details may be indistinguishable from friend codes

    Last edited 24/10/13 10:10 am

    I play competitive shooters a lot and sometimes things get ugly. One time a particularly sore loser tracked me down on YouTube and began disliking every video and saying crap like I fiddle with young girls at a playgrounds (so naturally I disassociated my YouTube channel with my gamertag). It's not the first time something like this has happened either.

    So, I can't tell you just how much this feature does not appeal to me. It's basically inviting people to track you down. No thanks.

      To play devil's advocate, would he have been as likely to do all that if he didn't have the cloak of anonymity? What would his family or work colleagues think if they knew he went around accusing people of being paedophiles without any evidence?

        In this case, it's optional to use your real name or go with the cloak of anonymity, so I assume he'd be the kind of person who'd go with the former. If, however, everybody was forced to provide a real name then I think most people would provide fake names (I know plenty of people who provide inaccurate information on Facebook).

        But yeah, I'd agree that if (somehow), no anonymity was available, then the Internet would be a WAY more incredible place. I could be wrong, but that's my opinion.

    November 15... am I missing something here, I though the PS4 was going to be launched on November 29th?

    I believe it's the 15th in USA and few other places but in Aus it's the 29th

    This just in... city councils to make bridges easier to jump off!

    I hardly see this as a selling point. Helping people facilitate online/real identity suicide is a weird thing to be pleased with.

      This. Does anyone developing this policy actually play games or understand how much crap some people take online? I don't think they realise what happens during many games...

      Last edited 24/10/13 4:26 pm

      This. Who could possibly consider this a 1up for the PS4? I mean, if you're that Keen on using your real name online, you can already out that under the section called 'name' in your XBL bio.

    Unfortunately for me, my PSN name is my real name, from when I made my account in the early days of PSP, and playing online regularly seemed like a distant dream.

    For all those "not getting" (I'm quote, not mocking) why someone would do it...

    It's a trust thing. If I put my real name up there, you can be relatively assured that I'm not going to be dick in what I say or how I act -- precisely because I AM identifiable (and can therefore be held accountable). Gamertags promote anonymity, which many gamers use as a license to be a dick without fear of reprisal.

    This is a stupid idea. Why is privacy invasion continually advertised as being cool or something? And why do people keep falling for it?

    Handing over personal details to big companies and not asking/expecting anything in return for it just seems stupid to me.

    Who am I kidding? I’m mostly just talking about Facebook here. I loathe it.

    I have 100% trust in Micro, Sony and Nintendo compared to dodgy old FB - stealing your entire life left, right and center.

    Last edited 24/10/13 7:45 pm

    Is it just me, or have we all forgotten that Sony already lost our (unencrypted) passwords and credit card numbers? Sure, Sony - feel free to associate my name with those details for a more comprehensive ID theft.

    Mine is already my real name. hahaha

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