According to a spokesperson from Google, players on Google Stadia will be able to change their online handles whenever they want. Google’s foray into cloud-based gaming will include this feature out of the box when Stadia hits shelves later this year.
The ability to change usernames on a whim may not seem like the greatest feature for a system, but it’s a feature that gamers have consistently desired. PlayStation fans have been pleading with Sony for years to let them change their network names and Sony has finally obliged, promising that gamers will be able to change their PSN Online ID’s in 2019. Xbox allows its users to change their name once for free, but charges $9.99 for any subsequent changes. Most PC services, like Steam, will allow its users to change names anytime at no additional cost. Google Stadia’s approach to name changes has yet to be fully discussed, but its plan is in motion.
Patrick Seybold, the head of comms for Google Stadia, told PCGamesN that Stadia players will be able to change their online names whenever they like, as long as that name is available. Those who pre-order the recently announced Google Stadia Founder’s Edition will be able to secure their desired name ahead of launch. There is no word regarding what Google would charge for a name change or if it will charge at all.
Google Stadia has come under fire recently when it was revealed that it will require 1 TB of data over 65 hours of 4K streaming, much to the dismay of those with data caps on their internet service. In spite of this, Stadia has been amassing an impressive lineup of games, including the likes of Destiny 2, Doom Eternal, as well as its first exclusive, Gylt.
Name change is a nominal feature, but Google has to do it right to give Stadia every advantage it can get. Google Stadia has the potential to revolutionize the gaming industry by allowing players to play 4K titles on any internet-capable device, but they are entering into an industry with fans who are loyal to their own devices and systems. Hopefully Google decides to follow in the footsteps of PC gaming services and let its players change their name for free. Charging players for this service will just seem like a cash grab from a company that has more than enough capital to make Stadia work. However, taking a user-friendly approach will help Stadia stand out as the next console generation approaches.