PS5 X Button Confirm Change Sparks Worries From Asia, Japan Players

Many players around the world are puzzled following the reveal that Sony made the X Button on PS5 UI the confirm button for all regions.

October 4, 2020

Sony held on October 4 a hands-on event for the PS5, where multiple Japanese outlets and popular (Virtual) YouTubers got to try out the next gen console, and one thing that came out in particular is how the PS5 and its DualSense controller now use X button for confirm in the UI menu.

As a reminder, while in Europe, American and western PlayStation games in general, X button is used for confirmation, in Japan and Asia it’s the O button instead. On Nintendo consoles too, the A button used for confirm is where PlayStation controllers’ O button would be. This is a culture difference in how in Japan, X (Batsu) is false, while O (Maru) is correct. You can easily notice this for example when characters in anime and manga show their school test results. Meanwhile on Xbox controllers, the A button used for confirm is at the same place as the PlayStation X button, following the western pattern.

Sony Interactive Entertainment public relations explained (thanks, Famitsu) this is a change happening in all the Asia region including Japan, to solve the discomfort where games use either the X or O button as confirm but the console’s System Menu uses the other button as confirmation.

One of the first Japanese blogs who shared this change on Twitter is Game’s Talk, re-sharing an event report article from AV Watch (Part of the Impress group like Game Watch, which we often quote). Many players expressed their discontentment towards the change by replying/quoting this tweet or event report articles from Famitsu and other outlets.

Many Twitter users noted it’s puzzling Sony decided to do this change now even though this regional difference has been a thing for years now. Needless to say there are some Japanese players happy with the change too, as everyone has a different opinion, and the internet doesn’t accurately reflect reality. In particular, western games like Apex or Dead by Daylight are incredibly popular in Japan, and multiple Japanese players noted they’re already used to X button as confirm after playing these games.

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It’s also interesting to note that many Japanese studios developing games on PlayStation might adapt this change in their future games too. Making the X Button as the confirm button. Tales of Producer Yusuke Tomizawa noted on Twitter “The age of X Button confirmation is coming…”. So maybe X Button is how we’ll confirm things even in the Japanese version of Tales of Arise. It’s also worth mentioning certain games already do that, such as Ys IX: Monstrum Nox, already available on PS4 in Japan.

Lastly, if you’d like to hear my Unneeded Opinion™ on the matter, I couldn’t care less about the PS5 X button confirm change in itself. Well, for now I couldn’t care less about PS5 altogether, since it’s not like niche Japanese games gonna release on it any time soon, but that’s another story. As someone regularly playing Japanese games on a French PS4 console, I’m already used to switching between both patterns and hitting the wrong button sometimes. Multiple Japanese players on Twitter shared that point too, and how they’re used to playing both Western and Japanese games.

With that said, I believe it’s a huge shame Sony decided, after over two decades, to force Asian players to adopt the same button scheme as western standards. It would have been nice if for once other people didn’t have to do everything in the same way as western culture. It could have been the other way, with O Button becoming the confirm button for everyone. Things could have also stayed the way they’ve always been too. Or better yet, Sony could have simply added an option to let players choose between X or O button in the PS5 configuration menu. This sadly doesn’t seem to be the case judging from the event reports.

In the land of Freedom and Justice, the PS5 will release on November 12 for $499. The All-Digital Edition version will be $399.

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Iyane Agossah

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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