First reported by AV Watch Impress, the PS5 controller buttons will see a bit of a shakeup. The X button will now be the universal method to confirm in system and game menus. To players in the West, this may not sound like a change at all. However, there’s quite the history as to why O has always been confirm on PlayStation consoles in Japan, not X.
A Sony PR person confirmed to AV Watch, “The purpose of this change is to avoid situations where the confirm button is different between the system menus and the game.”
Since the PS1, the rightmost of the face buttons, O, has always been confirm for PlayStation hardware in Japan. This was a trend that Sony followed from Nintendo, as Nintendo controllers from the SNES onward have always used the rightmost button, the A button, as confirm in all regions.
Conversely, in the West, the bottom-most button on a controller (X on PlayStation, A on Xbox and PC) is used to confirm, sans Nintendo controllers. This is due to social conditioning. X represents a “checkmark” of sorts in the West. In Japanese society, X indicates “incorrect” hence its frequent function to cancel or go back in Japanese menus. With that confusion between regions considered, not all games have followed a single set of rules, which can make players disorientated mid-game.
It will be interesting to see how the PS5 controller buttons’ change will work with backward-compatible PS4 games on the new system.
Sony’s next-gen console, the PlayStation 5, will release in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea on November 12, 2020. The release date for the rest of the world is November 19, 2020. Mainland China’s release is still TBA.