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PlayStation Controller Buttons Explained

2 min read


I love my PS3, as I loved my PS2 and PS1 before it. What I’ve never really liked though, is the aesthetically unchanged controller each system has shipped with. It primarily comes down to the analogues, which were added as an afterthought on the PS1 controller’s existing, thumbstick-less mould, for use in analogue-compatible games like Tobal 2, Bushido Blade, and the first game to require a Ps1 analogue controller, Ape Escape.

I prefer controllers with more modern designs that are more practical and ergonomic, like those belonging to the Dreamcast, Gamcube and yes, the Xbox 360. I do, however, quite like the iconic button design of the Playstation controller, with it’s now familiar Triangle, Square, Circle and X. PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto who designed the Ps1 and Ps2 – explains how the design was intended to keep things simple.

"That was…pretty tough," he says. "Other game companies at the time assigned alphabet letters or colors to the buttons. 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 color."

"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. People thought those colors were mixed up, and I had to reinforce to management that that’s what I wanted."

Of course, the X and O buttons and their meanings were meant for the Japanese – their meanings were switched for Western public, who associate the bottom X button as the main button.

Source : 1up

Last Updated: August 26, 2010

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