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Sony Is Changing The Confirm And Cancel Buttons In Japan And Folks Aren't Happy

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In the West, the X button has long been the PlayStation’s button to confirm selections, actions, and more. But, ever since the original PlayStation went on sale in Japan in 1994, there the circle button has been the action button. That is going to change.

Famitsu and AV Watch are reporting that in Japan the PlayStation 5's DualSense controller will change its action button from circle to X to bring the region into global uniformity with the international market. A Sony spokesperson explained that the decision was made to avoid different button settings across countries, as well as easing the burden for developers.


Culturally, there is a longstanding explanation for this difference. In Japan, the circle or maru means “okay” or “correct.” However, the X symbol means “no good” or “wrong.” In Japanese, the X button is called the batsu botan, which Sony translates as the “cross button.” However, in Japan, batsu is the opposite of maru and can mean “no”, “no good”, and “not available”. For players in Japan, using the circle button as the confirm button makes perfect sense, as does X for cancel.

Yet, outside of Japan, “X” can mean “X marks the spot”, and while Sony insists X button is the ‘cross’ button, for players outside Japan it makes sense as the action button.


Understandably, many players in Japan are not happy about this decision. On the Japanese webform 2ch and popular game sites like My Game News Flash and Hachima many people voiced their frustration—though some did support the decision as they’ve become used to the button reversal by playing foreign games, especially on PC.

“What a pain in the ass.”

“For Japan, do it Japanese style.”

“At last they’re making it uniform? Japan has been defeated.”

“Change foreign games. Foreign games did this on their own accord.”

“This helps me because I always get them confused (when playing foreign games).”

“One less reason to buy the PS5.”

“This really confuses Japanese people.”

“Well, internationally this is the standard. Up to now, Japan has been weird.”

“I’m totally gonna screw this up.”

“Yep, trash.”

“I’ll get used to this in five minutes.”

“More distain of Japan from fucking Sony.”

“I’m not buying a PlayStation anymore.”

“This is the same as on Windows.”

“This is hard to get my head around. Why not just move the buttons?”

“I’ll get used to this quickly.”

“Sony traitors.”

“Foreigners should become uniform with Japan.”

“Good news. This is just like with Steam.”

“I’m not going to get used to this.”

“If it’s the default, that can’t be helped, but make it so this can be changed in Settings.”

“They need to get rid of using the circle and the X buttons. Use ABCD. In Japan, circle means confirm.”

“This is discrimination.”

“The PS5 is made by a foreign company...?”

“I really hate this. X is cancel. Circle is confirm. They’re out of their minds.”

“This is a bullshit console.”

“Circle is confirm. X is cancel. This is easy to understand.”

“Proof that they’re looking at Japan as a small market.”

“I think X as confirm is good. I’ve gotten used to that through playing PC games, so now using circle as confirm feels strange.”

“Make circle confirm and X cancel. I do not care what’s done internationally.”

“I’ve been waiting for this.”

“It’s a Japanese console, so conform to Japan.”

“Stop fucking around.”

“If they keep it like this forever, I don’t care one way or the other.”

“But it’s a Japanese console...”

“This means that the circle on the Japanese flag is now ‘cancel.’”

“The first happy news of the year.”

“Well, that decides it. The PS5 is going to be a failure.”

“Things will be okay.”

“This is a big loss for Japan.”