The PlayStation 4 announcement day has come and gone, and what have we gotten from it? More anticipation for the next generation console, if nothing else. We have high hopes that the PlayStation 4 will be affordable. We know it’s going to be much more powerful, and we know it’s going to blow our minds in more ways than one. But did you catch what lead architect Mark Cerny said during the announcement?
Kotaku was very quick to pick up on the detail that we might have to do away with “fake” identities on the PlayStation Network when the PlayStation 4 comes out. Quoting Cerny:
“[With the] PlayStation 4 we are transitioning to a friends network based on real world friends. We’ll keep around the alias and icon used in today’s multiplayer matches. These are great to have when anonymity is important. But most of the new social dimension to PS4 will be interacting with friends using real names and profile pictures most likely seeded from your existing social network.”
At first glance, perhaps, it sounds great, and it might very well be for some people. For those who prefer using aliases when playing on PSN, though, there some pretty heavy implications in that short paragraph.
One, PSN seems to be going the social networking route. With that statement about real world friends, it seems that PSN will follow the path of Facebook and Google+ in that there will be emphasis on real identities instead of whatever cool online name you want to use. Additionally, the part about friends, real names, profile pics, and existing social network really does point to integration with other platforms, doesn’t it?
Two, there might still be a way to use aliases and anonymous icons. That just looks like Sony is prepared for a potential backlash from gamers who do not want to use their real identities online. As Kotaku pointed out, Blizzard’s Real ID program in 2010 didn’t exactly earn them points from gamers. And we can very well imagine how having your real identity out there in a multiplayer game can be detrimental.
So, what is your take on this? Do you think that using real identities on the PSN is the way to go, or should aliases be the default?
[Image via Kotaku]