Japanese owners of PS4 can now remap the functionality of the "X" and "O" buttons


In context: In its beginnings, the PlayStation did not use numbers, nor letters to designate its main buttons, but symbols – square, X, O and a triangle. At this point, cultural differences have probably led to choosing the most relevant buttons for confirmation and cancellation options.

The iOS Remote Play feature is the flagship feature of Sony's latest firmware update for PlayStation 4. The buried text in the release notes is a minor change, however, which could be a boon for non-Japanese owners of Japanese PS4 consoles.

As the Verge correctly points out, most PS4 owners outside Japan have probably never considered the mapped button as the default 'Confirm' button on the controller because it's still 'X' and 'O' Has always been the default button to cancel or exit. off of a menu.

Curiously, in Japan, the opposite is true: the "O" button is used to confirm a selection and "X" is designated as the cancel button. This is true for both hardware and software.

Why the difference between Japan and the Western world? Well, nobody really knows it.

A theory proposed by The Verge concerns the previous influences. The original NES controller had the "A" button on the right and the "B" button on the left, but when Sega's master system arrived, he placed the "1" button on the left and the "2" button on the left. right. Similarly, Genesis placed the "A" button on the far left followed by the "B" and "C" buttons in alphabetical order, as desired.

"In Japan, the O button was the most logical as a confirmation button. The cross-shaped "X" is known in Japanese as "batsu". It carries the same connotations as in the West – nobody wants X on their exam results, but the circle form "maru" has a similar meaning. to the boat in Western culture. For example, game shows will display a circle each time a competitor gets a good answer. "

These connotations do not exist in the West. The choice of confirmation and cancellation buttons was therefore less easy. One theory is that the developers went with "X" to confirm because it looks like a target. After all, "X" marks the place on a treasure map, right?

Whatever the reason, it has remained stuck in the West and has solidified when Microsoft released its Xbox controller with "A" in the same position as "X" on the PlayStation.

Fortunately, those who play on Japanese material will now have the freedom to map the buttons as they wish … at least with regard to the interactions in the system menus.

Main image courtesy of George Dolgikh via Shutterstock. Image of the NES controller with the kind permission of robtek via shutterstock.

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