You’ve been calling the X button on the PlayStation controller the wrong name for decades

The DualShock 4, the latest version of Sony’s long-running DualShock gamepad for the PlayStation. Sony
  • Sony’s PlayStation game consoles have used an evolving version of the same gamepad since the mid-’90s, when the PlayStation 1 launched.
  • The controller, known as the DualShock, features a characteristic set of symbols on its buttons:△, O, X, and ▢.
  • Traditionally, people have referred to those symbols as “triangle,” “circle,” “X” (as in “ecks”), and “square.”
  • As it turns out, the X button is actually the “cross” button.
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If you’ve used any PlayStation game console in the past 20-plus years, you’re familiar with the PlayStation gamepad, the DualShock.

Its parallel thumbsticks, shoulder buttons, and symbol-clad buttons have become iconic.

Perhaps most of all, the X button – the button used most often for affirming selections, among many other actions – is extremely recognisable.

Here’s something you almost certainly didn’t know: It’s not actually called the X button.

PlayStation twitter poll

When Sony’s official PlayStation Twitter account asked its 17 million followers what they call the button, an overwhelming majority confirmed it was known to them as the X (as in “ecks”) button.

But there’s a sharp difference between what the world has adopted as the button’s name and what Sony calls it.

Indeed, Sony’s official word is that the X button is actually the cross button.

That has long been the case, but clearly it isn’t a well-known fact, given the stark difference in responses to Sony’s polling.

The X has long been a point of contention in product names. People often refer to Apple’s OS X operating system and iPhone X as “oh ess ecks” and “iPhone ecks” – but Apple thinks of those X symbols like the Latin numeral for 10, thus “OS ten” and “iPhone ten.”

That isn’t stopping anyone from calling them OS X and iPhone X, of course, and that clearly applies in Sony’s case as well.