Origin, Electronic Art's digital distribution platform, is available for Macs as of today via an open alpha testing period. Origin for Mac was initially announced in August of last year, when EA noted that the Mac version of its upcoming SimCity game was expected to launch alongside the PC version.
SimCity will no longer be released simultaneously on the Mac and the PC, but EA will presumably release the final version of Origin for Mac before the game comes out in March.
Like Steam, EA's Origin allows users to purchase and download games, chat with friends, and continue saved games from any Origin-enabled computer.
According to EA, Origin for Mac will function like the PC version, with cloud storage, auto patching, and a friends list. For the alpha, the Origin Store tab is not active, but EA promises that the launch version will include "a great catalog of EA and partner titles."
EA is offering a free copy of PopCap’s popular "Bookworm" game with the Origin alpha download, which is limited to a few thousand customers.
The alpha version of Origin is currently able to be downloaded from the Origin website. To download the software, users will need to have a Mac running OS X 10.6.8 or newer plus an Intel Core 2 Duo processor or better.