A new update for the Origin client has been released, marking another step towards being actually competitive when compared to Steam. It brings you the ability to restrict your download speed, a framerate counter and cross-game invites. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s a step towards making Origin a viable alternative to Steam.
It’s a bit sad – this isn’t cutting edge stuff, but features Steam had years ago. Origin as a service is definitely on par with Steam, if not better – they were offering refunds way back when people had to threaten Valve with legal action in order to get one on Steam. They’re growing out of their catalogue issues – instead of only EA titles, which amount to Bioware games and a bunch of FIFAs and Battlefields, you can now find lots of third-party titles on the storefront. But their software is so painfully behind that it seems it’s only there to act as DRM. Hopefully these changes are only the first in a long line.
First of all, you can now manage the download speed. You can find the throttle option in the Download Restrictions section of the settings. You can set different speeds for when you’re playing and when you’re not. The framerate counter is pretty self-explanatory – it measures your FPS while you play, so you don’t have to use third party software to do it. It’s separated from the notorious Origin overlay, so you can turn one on while the other is off.
Cross-game invites have the potential to be the most interesting addition. They also have the potential to be the most annoying one. They allow you to call people into your party even while they’re playing other games. If they accept, Origin will close their current game and launch the one you’re playing, letting them join you instantly.