EA is hellbent on pushing Origin, so I decided to download it and give it a try. I just downloaded it today, but here are some first impressions, but first:

What is Origin?

"Origin (formerly EA Download Manager or EA Link) is an application that enables you to download games and related content directly to your computer. This application also provides one location for you to manage and organize your EA digital content." from Origin's help page.


Origin is pretty

It's very visually pleasing in my opinion. There's not much else to say on this point.

It Lacks Content

Yeah, I know it's a service still in beta, but there's not much here. The store has less than 100 games, and much of what I saw were expansion packs. The Sims 3 has tons. I breezed through every genre in less than 10 minutes.

There also aren't very many community features. I haven't spent time trying to add friends, but from what I can tell, Steam completely dominates it in this area. No groups, clans, a very barren profile, etc. The chat feature is the only thing of note here at the moment, which from what I've seen, has taken a page out of Facebook. (see what I did there?) There is a forum, but that hasn't been integrated into the client, and is just a link to EA's Origin forums. There is integration with XBL, PSN, and FB, however

Notably absent is EA's free to play selection. No BF: Heroes or Play 4 Free. NFS World is here, but it's being sold for $20. Dragon Age: Legends is also here, but it's a link to Facebook. (They had me go through the checkout for that. To get a link. Thanx EA, luv ya.) You would think integrating Origin into their free to play catalog would be a priority, esp. since Steam has just started supporting the business model. That would be a way to draw more users. 

Pop Cap's library also hasn't been added yet, but I bet we'll see that soon.

Game/Developer Pages are Nice

Another small feature that stands out. But it's small. ...

The In-Game Overlay is about the same as Steam's

You have your friends, browser, and settings.

In conclusion, Origin is an okay service at launch. It's not amazing by any means, but that's in comparison to a very established service like Steam. The only features I see being a draw for Steam users is the mobile app and EA's exclusives. That will probably be enough. As the service matures, we'll probably see an expanded library and better social services, like the Battlelog from BF3. But at the moment, Steam is the place to be from my standpoint.