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PlayStation UK ignites controversy over what to call the X button

The PlayStation UK Twitter account set social media on fire this week after declaring that the proper name for the "X" button on the PlayStation controller is "cross."

Though PlayStation UK is technically correct, this runs contrary to popular nomenclature, with most gamers and some companies referring to the button according to the letter it resembles. Many game instruction manuals over the years reference "X" rather than "cross," even when spelling out "circle" and "square" instead of printing the symbols for the other buttons. The same holds true with the majority of user-generated walkthroughs and guides on websites like GameFAQs.

Many people associate the word "cross" with the t-shaped symbol that represents Jesus Christ's crucifixion in the Christian religion. Likely this spiritual leaning, coupled with the fact that the marking on the X button looks like the letter "X," have prevented the "cross" designation from catching on. As one user tweeted: "Anyone who says cross is a cop."

PlayStation UK questioned those who referred to the cross button as "X," pointing out that most users don't use the letter "O" when referring to the circle button. While a potentially valid argument, it's possible the "X" designation has remained strong due to the presence of an X button on other console controllers, including the Xbox and certain Nintendo systems. 

The debate continues to rage. Thankfully, PlayStation UK's levity seems to have kept the situation from escalating into an outright flame war. Their social media manager has even managed to slip in an impressive number of puns. Here are some of the standouts:

"You can all call them whatever you want but we'll go down with this Shape."

"This is our Cross to bear."

So, there you have it. The X button is actually the cross button and, thus, the Xbox shall forever be known as Crossbox.