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

Sony Is Changing The Confirm And Cancel Buttons In Japan And Folks Aren’t Happy
Image: Sony

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, 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 circumstances are now that many different countries are playing games and this decision was made to avoid different button settings as well as easing the burden for developers. 

Culturally, there is a longstanding explanation for this difference. In Japan, the circle or maru means “ok” 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” means “X marks the spot,” and while Sony says 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 arse.”

“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 ok.”

“This is a big loss for Japan.”


  • Doesn’t feel like it’s worth the hassle to be honest.
    Sure, folks are flexible enough to handle the change but the same can be said for leaving it how it is.

    If I was going to force a change on Japan it would be the mandatory option to invert the Y axis.

    • Xbox reverses Nintendo inputs, A at the bottom, B at the right, X at the left, Y at the top. So Microsoft and Sony maintain the same confirm/cancel locations internationally, while Nintendo and Sony shared confirm/cancel in Japan (until now).

    • A confirm, B cancel, X/Y misc. Same as Nintendo. However, thanks to muscle memory being all about the button location instead of the letter on the button you never look at, there’s probably some momentary confusion switching between the two.

      The xbox A button is located down at the bottom where the joycon B is, and xbox B is over to the right where Nintendo A is.

      Sony’s X and O are confirm and back, respectively (in the west), which means their locations map to be the same as the xbox. And in Japan, it means they map to the same locations as Nintendo.

      So yeah, I guess this means Sony is giving up on the Japanese way of things, with only Nintendo holding out on bottom-button for back and right-button for confirm.

        • It’s an oddity that’s occurred slowly over time.

          The Japanese button placement for PlayStation has always been O for confirm and X for cancel which in part was influenced on Nintendo’s bottom button cancel and right button confirm trend.
          Western developers didn’t follow any real rules in the beginning but over time they started to increasingly settle on X for confirm and O for cancel.
          When the Xbox launched they clearly noticed the western trend and opted for a colour system on the bottom and right buttons, green (X) for confirm and red (O) for cancel.

  • Yeah, this is going to be a problem for Japanese gamers. They use circle to mean “yes” for everything. When I was a school teacher there i used to tick correct answers and students would freak out at me for marking things wrong. Only circle means yes or correct. Anything else is no or wrong. Especially a Batsu. Batsu = X = No bueno.

  • I find moving between Nintendo and Xbox infuriating when navigating menus, as I am always cancelling when I want to ‘OK’. I wish everything would switch to the Japanese layout TBH.

  • Assuming Sony keeps the PS4’s button remapping accessibility feature, wouldn’t players be able to easily switch it back?

  • i care less about the icon on the button and more about its placement. i agree O for yes and X for no makes more logical sense. but the most accessible button being the bottom of the 4 is the most logical placement for the yes button (which i believe goes against what the japanese do according to this article).

    at the end of the day the keyboard rules supreme.

  • From what I’ve heard, are they not simply just changing the default setting for these inputs? Meaning, that it is probably still possible to switch the inputs via the accessibility menu or something similar in the PS5’s settings.

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