Sony has swapped the usage of the X and Circle buttons for the PlayStation 5 user interface in Japan, meaning X is now used to confirm settings, while Circle is used to cancel.
This is, of course, how PlayStation consoles and games have operated in the West for 25 years. But it's a big shift for Japan, where X has not historically been used to mean "accept", "X marks the spot", or "X to Jason". There, X typically means "cancel" or "quit", whereas the "O" of Circle means "OK".
The detail comes from Famitsu, one of several Japanese outlets to get more details on PlayStation 5 over the weekend, and which has now reported a further wrinkle.
Perhaps even more confusingly, the Japanese versions of PS5 games will still use the previous definitions of X and Circle, separate and contradictory to the PS5 hardware itself.
"In Japan, the 'Circle = Good, OK, Correct' symbolism has been common knowledge for many decades. When designing the original PlayStation controller, it was likely that the placement of the O/X were hence made to match the Super Famicom's A/B, and were utilised similarly.
"I expect this will go down VERY badly with Japanese players. Unlearning muscle memory acquired through years of repetition is extremely tough. For the short term, I think JP developers are actually going to face MORE dev burden instead of less due to this..."
I remember Final Fantasy games used to have the O for confirm and X for cancel mapping. It was annoying lol. But I guess you can always switch it? Not sure why Sony decided to change it on Japan now. Note this is for the user interface of the console, and not the games. What mapping is your preference, SW? X to confirm has been hard wired into my brain at this point lol.