I wrote a little while ago about how EA was doing an alpha test with Apple Mac users in the UK and US. Normally beta testing takes weeks, if not months but in a surprising twist, it looks like they had everything nailed down right from the start (pat on the back there for you). The company has now announced that the full Origin client is now available to download from the Origin online store and will feature the same user experience as the Windows-based client.
While the alpha phase was astonishingly short, it looks like there’s a decent launch lineup of games that were mostly available on the platform already, along with a few new ones. There’s a crapload of Sims 3 stuff available, as always, along with Batman: Arkham City, Dragon Age 2, DiRT2 and some Lego titles. Taking a leaf out of Valve’s book, Origin allows cross-platform play – if you buy a Mac-compatible game, you can play it on both your Mac and a Windows system.
What this means for Apple is anyone’s guess. Up until now, they’ve included discrete graphics for use by professionals for accelerating things like Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. Because OS X was and is still seen (however incorrectly) as the designer’s choice, Apple has never had to push the envelope in terms of graphics horsepower. Will this encourage them to support more GPUs in OS X and beef up their notebooks in future? It’ll be awesome if the Mac Mini can be mated with a Radeon HD7750 for use as a gaming device for the living room. It might not be that well-suited to the task, but it’ll certainly please some Apple fans.
And what does this mean for Linux? We’re getting to the stage where it’s a viable gaming platform and Microsoft has even begun muttering that it might support it with a version of Office tailored for the Unix environment. This is going to be interesting to watch, grab your popcorn and make yourself comfortable!
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