In a chat with Famitsu magazine this week, PlayStation designer Teiyu Goto explained how Sony deviated from the competition's flat, alphabet-laden game pads. In creating the company's first console, Goto said he wanted to keep things simple
. "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."
Elaborating on the thought process behind Sony's controller, Goto said each symbol has a meaning. "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."
Goto also reminisced about the trouble he faced convincing management to drop Nintendo's flat controller designs. "The Super NES was a huge hit at the time, and naturally we wanted SNES gamers to upgrade to our system," he said. Management feared gamers wouldn't accept a radical departure. A flat PlayStation controller nearly made it out the door before CEO Norio Ohga stepped in with disapproval
. "Management was still pretty peeved, but they felt like they had no choice but to follow him."