The comments come from a recent interview Sony lead system architect Mark Cerny gave to a Japanese tech website:
PS4 network communication is going to be based on your real name. It will also be linked with real name SNS like Facebook.
Some people may be concerned by this. Generally most games to date have been played anonymously. Personally, together with most gamers, I would not favour playing under my real name.
But you seem to believe most gaming from here on will be under a real name system, won’t that be something of a challenge for the PS4?
With online games, anonymity is the “present paradigm.” For example, when fighting online in a deathmatch, being anonymous is probably good.
But in cooperative games or those stressing communication, it’s better not to be anonymous.
For example, if you give a friend a game item as a gift. Your emotions will differ completely in that case.
Of course, we’ll respect anonymous gaming as it is now. And we’ll support play like that. You’ll be able to enjoy an intense deathmatch using a pseudonym on the PS4.
However, at the same time we want to support people playing with their real world friends.
For example, what if you were reunited with a friend you hadn’t seen since university, wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Most of the real impetus behind the obsession of Facebook and Google with extricating the real names of their users is thought to be so they can better hawk the personal data of users to marketers – the practical and philosophical merits of anonymity versus real names hardly entering into the equation.
Judging from the online reaction, Sony’s efforts to foist a real name system onto gamers seem unlikely to be well received – all the more so with Sony having the distinction of having been catastrophically hacked in recent memory:
“Give it a rest!”
“As if it will be ‘wonderful’…”
“Nobody thinks that, Sony.”
“This will never fly in Japan.”
“Only total non-gamers would think this.”
“So much for the PS4.”
“Can’t they stop pushing this social rubbish on us. I just want to play games.”
“The trouble with anonymous systems is that the culture rapidly degenerates to rock bottom. Especially where people can develop intense grudges over what happens in game…”
“They are trying to make their console into some sham deaikei site now? There are no real pluses to using your real name online…”
“They just want to sell your personal data on the side, like Google and Amazon.”
“Pretty obvious the whole push for everyone to use these services is just so they can profit off your personal data.”
“People are just going to expose your gaming in public.”
“What about all those people you don’t want to meet in game?”
“When they get hacked all this information is going to get leaked. Give it a rest.”
“I don’t mind using my real name, but I don’t think I’ll be entrusting this info to Sony any time soon.”
“Does anyone want all this SNS junk in their games?”
“Now all our creepy gaming habits are going to be exposed to everyone, great.”
“With FPS and fighting games there is a real chance you end up playing some nut who tries to take revenge on you offline…”
“Look, they have not said they will make it compulsory! It’ll probably just be linking your account to FB or something.”
“As if. Expect them to start offering special DLC to people using their real name.”
“The interviewer said real names will the basis. They’ll surely be trying to induce or force people to register with their real names, and putting up obstacles to those who do not.”
“I doubt they will be able to stop you using a fake name. Scary if they can…”
“Nobody wants this social crap in their games, Sony!”
“There are no advantages to using your real name in a game at all, only disadvantages. You’ll have to watch everything you do even when playing. If we wanted this stuff we’d all be poking away at FB.”
“Nice if they force the players who badmouth you constantly to use their real names.”
“This is idiotic. What about the crazies who send you hate mail when you beat them, what about people who are going to go out of their way to harass you just because they lost?”
“Pretty sure a lot of gamers are simply not that extroverted and do not want to have all this social stuff forced on them.”
“This is going to wipe out the female populations of a lot of games in various ways…”