by Anton Shilov
01/24/2013 | 11:57 PM
More video games are on their way to Apple Mac personal computers as Electronic Arts is preparing to launch its Origin video game distribution service, making the latest titles available on the platform that could not be named “gamers friendly” just a few years ago. At present, EA lets limited amount of users to try the alpha version of the Origin for Mac.
“With Origin for Mac we will be able to offer the same Origin experience and features that define our PC app – cloud storage, auto-patching, friends list, and more – to Mac users everywhere. We are very excited about the upcoming launch of Origin for Mac and the opportunity to reach the millions of Mac-based gamers out there. We are continuing to build Origin into a gaming service that truly lets you purchase and play anywhere, anytime,” a statement from Electronic Arts reads.
Unfortunately, the alpha version of the Origin comes without activated store, so no new games can be purchased from EA. Essentially, Mac users will be able to only add non-Origin games to library, use the Origin In Game overlay, chat with friends across platforms and games, and continue saved progress from any Origin-enabled Apple Mac.
Electronic Arts Origin for Apple Mac platform emerges around three years after Valve Software released its Steam video game distribution service for Macs. To enable operation of video games originally developed for Microsoft Windows systems with DirectX application programming interface on Macs, Valve uses a special DirectX-to-OpenGL layer, which naturally compromises performance. It remains to be seen whether EA develops a similar layer to enable titles like Battlefield, Crysis, Mass Effect or Need for Speed on Macs, or will just sell specially-developed Mac ports via its Origin store.
It should be noted that Apple Macintosh systems are slowly gaining graphics performance to provide decent speeds in video games. Unfortunately, not all systems have decent performance, but the situation with high-end graphics cores was much worse several years ago. Popular iMac systems feature Nvidia GeForce GTX 675MX/680MX 2GB (GK104 chip, 960/1536 stream processors) in maximum configuration, which should be enough to play modern video games; but less advanced configurations of iMac all-in-one desktops come with GeForce GTX 660M, GT 650M or GT 640M (all are based on GK107 and feature 384 stream processors) with 512GB of memory, which will barely provide enough speed for up-to-date titles. The most powerful graphics card that can be installed into premium Mac Pro system is ATI Radeon HD 5870 1MB GDDR5, which is over three years old.
EA Origin for Mac (alpha version) requires an Apple Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or newer with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better.