Since the beginning of the PlayStation Network, users have requested the ability to change their network names. For some, names were chosen in high school and, as an adult, they can be embarrassing. For others, it might relate back to a time they would prefer not to remember. No matter the reasoning, unless you were willing to lose all of our accomplishments, there was no way to move away from that name. All of that finally changed this week, when Sony introduced the ability to change your username!
Starting now, PSN members can change their PSN ID once for free, and for a small fee after the first. The incredibly long delay has been caused by a very amateur data design made in the early days of PSN, where the username was actually used as the key linking you to games and more. After years of reworking the way data has been stored, the feature is here, but it is not perfect. In fact, changing your name could potentially break games. Sony has a list of compatible games, but notes that there could still be problems with those games that haven't been detected during testing.
As with most username systems, including the PSN, there are rules to what is and is not appropriate. In the past, Sony used a heavy hand when enforcing those rules. When you created your account, if the username was determined to violate the community standards, Sony would close your account, no questions allowed to be asked. Fortunately, this policy has been amended, now that usernames can be adjusted. Rather than the account being closed, the username will be changed to TempXXXX, where the X will be replaced by a random number. This is similar in behavior to the random Xbox Live usernames, but with far less creativity. If your name gets changed due to rule violations, either during signup or ID change, you will be able to try again.