The X button on the PlayStation controller is actually a ‘cross’ button

If you’ve used any PlayStation game console across the last 20-plus years, you’re familiar with the PlayStation gamepad: The DualShock.

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

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

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


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” button (pronounced: “ecks” button).

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

Indeed — the “X” button is actually the cross button, according to Sony’s official word.

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

The “X” has long been a point of contention in product names. Both Apple’s OS X operating system and iPhone X are often referred to by people as “oh ess ecks” and “iPhone ecks” — but Apple thinks of those X symbols like the Latin numeral for ten, thus “OS Ten” and “iPhone Ten.”

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

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