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12 September 2019, 12:20 am

It's Not 'X', It's 'Cross' -- the PlayStation Joypad Revelation That's Caused an Outrage

It's Not 'X', It's 'Cross' -- the PlayStation Joypad Revelation That's Caused an Outrage

An anonymous reader shares a report: A fortnight ago, Twitter user @drip133 asked a seemingly innocent question above a photo of the joypad: "Do you say 'x' or 'cross' button?" There were hundreds of contradictory responses, which became increasingly furious as the week wore on. Some insisted that because the other buttons are named after shapes -- Triangle, Square and Circle -- logically, the "X" button must be called "Cross"; others pointed out that as 'X' was the common usage, this was the only acceptable pronunciation. [...] Then, in a shock move, Sony itself became involved. On 5 September, the official Twitter feed of PlayStation UK stated: "Triangle. Circle. Cross. Square. If Cross is called X (it's not), then what are you calling Circle?" The scrap is a rare event in the world of video games as console manufacturers usually name buttons after numbers, unambiguous letters of the alphabet or colours. The groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System pad, for example, went with A, B, while the SNES added X and Y (a configuration also used by Sega and Microsoft), and in this context, it's clear that "X" is X. Years ago, in an interview with the now defunct video game website 1UP, Sony designer Teiyu Goto explained how the buttons came to be named: "We wanted something simple to remember, which is why we went with icons or symbols, and I came up with the triangle-circle-X-square combination immediately afterward. I gave each symbol a meaning and a colour. The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one's head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink. The circle and X represent 'yes' or 'no' decision-making and I made them red and blue respectively." Sadly, this doesn't really help because in the quote he has characterised the "X" button with an "X" symbol and who knows whether that was actually him or the journalist who wrote the piece.

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