Word comes from EA this morning that Mac gamers looking to get their fix of the company’s digital distribution platform Origin are in luck – ahead of a more open release, EA is running a small alpha test (apparently restricted to “a few thousand users”) starting today.
The move, which we’ve known about since Gamescom last August, comes ahead of the launch of the SimCity reboot which arrives on PC on the 8th March, with a Mac date not far behind (but still to be officially confirmed).
The Origin Store itself is not accessible in the alpha, but users will find a free copy of PopCap’s Bookworm under their “my games” tab as a thank you for partipating in the test.
Otherwise, you can still add non-Origin games to your library, as well as use the in-game overlay including cross-platform chat.
EA has a rocky past with the Mac platform – aside from the Sims games, very few of EA’s games make it to the platform. In Steve Jobs’ WWDC keynote in 2007, EA announced a new push for Mac gaming including some of its biggest titles at the time (Battlefield 2142, Need for Speed Carbon, and Command and Conquer 3 amongst others) utilising TransGaming’s conversion software.
However, since then only Red Alert 3, a couple of FIFA games, and Valve’s Portal 2 (itself Valve’s first simultaneous PC-Mac release).
You’ll need an Intel Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or later, so if that’s you, you can download Origin from the official site.