According to a recent report from Famitsu, covered in the UK by Gamesindustry.biz, Sony is set to change the standard functions for the X and O buttons in Japan with the PlayStation 5.
In Japan, the PlayStation standard has always been that the O button confirms a player action, while the X button acts as an unconfirm button, or cancel. However, with the PlayStation 5, Sony is standardizing controls around the globe for the first time. Now Japanese users will need to press X to confirm, and O to cancel just like everyone else.
Another report, this one from Netolabo, describes how Sony has told them that users won’t have the option to reverse these controls. That means there’s no way of getting back to the previously standard way of controlling a game in Japan on the PlayStation 5.
Gamesindustry.biz pointed out that when they had an interview with Jim Ryan, PlayStation’s CEO, he described how unifying the PlayStation 5 around the world and creating a standard product version would be an area where the company could benefit greatly. Ryan went on to say that the process of standardizing the console has been far more streamlined for this console.
Ryan describes the outcome of this change as the difference between product planners having a single conversation, or three across different regions. Apparently there’s no need to solve conflicts between different regions with the PlayStation 5, which almost certainly has a lot to do with this button standardization in Japan.
Most PlayStation users probably barely noticed the difference between these button functions across each region. However, with games like the Metal Gear Solid series, the controls were standardized as Japanese, meaning all other users had to get used to a new way of controlling their games.
It may not seem like a huge issue or change, but for developers it definitely is. Having standardized controls around the world will lower development costs somewhat thanks to there now being no need to create new control schemes for each region. Hopefully this will make for slightly shorter development cycles with certain games.