If you’ve ever played the Japanese version of a PlayStation game–or many games in the PS1’s library, including Metal Gear Solid–you were likely surprised to find that the menu buttons were reversed from normal. That’s because in Japan, the function of the X and Circle buttons are usually flipped, meaning that Circle confirms or selects, whereas X cancels. For the upcoming PS5, however, Sony is finally going to change the Japanese buttons to the Western standard, but not everyone’s happy about it.
According to Famitsu, this change will primarily affect the PS5’s user interface, but not the Japanese versions of PS5 games, which will likely lead to much confusion for many Japanese players who have “Circle for confirm” permanently etched in their brains. In the past, some PlayStation games have given players the option of changing their menu controls to their preferred standard, but it’s unclear if Japanese players will be able to change it in the PS5’s system settings.
Wow, this is big news for UI/UX. PlayStation 5 will use the X button to confirm by default for ALL REGIONS including Japan, who previously used O to confirm for the past 26 years. Muscle memory frustration for the nearly 10M PS users in Japan coming up.https://t.co/Heo7XaWjsk
— Kenji Iguchi (@needle_e) October 4, 2020
This new information comes as several Japanese media sources have gotten hands-on time with the PS5. According to these sources, the PS5 is quite tall compared to existing game consoles, so players may have to move their setup around to get it to fit. The system is also surprisingly quiet compared to the original PS4, which–I can personally attest–whirrs like a jet engine when you’re playing demanding games like God of War or Ghost of Tsushima.