Friends, we have some troubling news. Our realities are about to be forever altered by an unfortunate revelation that could very well change the fabric of video games for years to come: The “X” button on the PlayStation controller is actually called the “fork” button.
Give it some time to sink in.
The discovery was made by Reddit user Ian Mazgelis, who spotted the designation on a PlayStation controller’s circuit board. The other three buttons’ names are what we’ve been calling them for years — “square,” “triangle,” and “circle” — but now there’s “fork” where “X” or “cross” should be, taunting us. Laughing at us.
Press “fork” to open a door. Press “fork” to pick up an item. Press “fork” to pay your respects. It sounds so wrong, but like the “correct” pronunciation of “GIF,” it’s now apparently a fact.
As Techno Buffalo’s Joey Davidson points out, the word “fork” is actually likely a manufacturing translation error, as the Chinese symbol for “fork” and “X” are actually the same.
The PlayStation gamepad isn’t the only controller to feature an “X” button. Nintendo has used it going back as far as the Super Nintendo, on which it was located above the other buttons. Microsoft introduced it when the company entered the home console space in 2001, placing it over to the left. Could these companies be hiding dark secrets about their buttons’ real names as well? Perhaps it’s best if we never find out.
Though controllers have changed in function over the years, the layout and designation of their buttons have largely stayed the same. Until the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One altered the names of the button just right-of-center on their controllers, it was always called “start.” The Xbox One now has the “menu” button while PlayStation 4 has “options,” but perhaps these were their real names all along.