EA previews "landmark update" Origin 9.0, which is days away

New friends lists! Better menus! Sliders! "Smoother" performance!

EA's PC digital distribution platform Origin will get a little bit better when client version 9.0 rolls out to the masses in "the coming days".

Those of you who opt in to beta updates will get first dibs. To do this, launch Origin, click on the gear icon and select Settings. Find Origin Pre-Release Participation and check the box that says "update to the pre-release version if available".

The full roll-out will happen "soon thereafter".

Origin 9.0 is hailed by EA as a "landmark update", which makes it sound exciting. And it is, if you're excited by revamped friends lists, menus, an in-game clock and "smoother" client performance.

The friends list is now in a box you can move around and close. It docks to small icon at the top of the screen, shows how many of your friends or online and can be reopened easily.

Navigation has been redone to feature drop-down boxes, and it all looks a bit like Steam, which probably isn't a bad thing.

The help menu has been beefed out to have links to chats, forums and order histories.

The My Games library in Origin now has a slider to make the box art icons bigger or smaller.

The options to Download and Install now belong to a hover card menu.

The in-game clock sits in the upper right-hand corner of the screen, and overall Origin performance.

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