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Oct 11, 2010

The origin of PlayStation controller's button

If you’ve owned any of the PlayStation consoles (the original PlayStation or PSX, the PS2, the PS3 and the PSP) then you’ve seen the button scheme that they’ve been using on their controllers. Instead of having A-B-C X-Y-Z like what Nintendo did with their controllers, Sony stuck with a colorful and much more recognizable scheme.

PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto explains why. Just who is Teiyu Goto? Well he’s none other than the father of the PlayStation, the man behind the designs for the original PlayStation, the PlayStation 2 and the PlayStation 3!

So why shapes and colors? In an interview with Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, it’s all about keeping 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.”