Sony has made a big move with the upcoming PS5, one that might upset Japanese players and mess with many years of muscle memory: the cross and circle button inputs have changed, as revealed in a Famitsu hands-on analysis.
This doesn’t mean the button layout on the DualSense controller is different from any of PlayStation’s previous configurations, but what the cross and circle buttons do will be different for those in Japan.
Traditionally, the circle button has been used as an ‘accept’ or ‘confirm’ button, while cross performs a ‘cancel’ function. You may have noticed this layout when playing some Japanese-developed games, especially before control-remapping became a more widespread practice.
For us in the West, we’re used to pressing cross as a confirm and circle to exit.
Now, PlayStation 5 will conform to the Western convention at a hardware level, meaning that console menus and the like will use the ‘cross equals confirm’ and ‘circle equals cancel’ setup.
However, software will entirely depend on developers, meaning that some games may still use the opposite, Japanese, style.
Confused yet? You’re not the only one!
Japanese VR developer Kenji Iguchi shared a thread on Twitter discussing how the change would affect players.
Iguchi notes that Nintendo will now be the only remaining platform in Japan to uniformly use the right-hand face button as the ‘confirm’ input following the PS5 change. This is in comparison with the Xbox layout, where ‘A’ is the bottom face button and is used to accept menu prompts and many core interactions in games.
So far, the reaction from Japanese gamers has varied wildly. Kotaku translated a selection of comments on popular news sites, ranging from “what a pain in the arse”, to “I’ll get used to this in five minutes”. Other reactions include “I really hate this. X is cancel. Circle is confirm. They’re out of their minds” and the rather dramatic “Well, that decides it. The PS5 is going to be a failure.”
Although this won’t really impact us here in Australia, Sony’s change is significant in a region where they have routinely torn Microsoft a new one in regards to console and game sales. To force its home nation to conform to its Western standard after all these years is understandably annoying for fans.
This has been a game button report brought to you by Chris Button, button expert.