Even for a game focused on multiplayer—PvP, co-op, or otherwise—a good single-player campaign is often a great way to introduce the basic mechanics to newbies before throwing them to the online wolves. It's also a great way to set up a story. Technically, Activison's MMO-shooter Destiny has a single-player, story-driven campaign. But as many found after taking the time to complete it, Destiny's story was weak at best—a stumble attributed to a rocky development schedule and a hasty rewrite six months before launch.
Destiny 2 features a new story campaign to ease players into the ins and outs of its mechanics, but Bungie is promising a far richer experience this time around. It even went as far as to hire Mass Effect writer Christopher Shlerf, who will hopefully knock the story into shape. Whether or not Bungie has been successful remains to be seen. But, as luck would have it, Nvidia has the full "Homecoming" story mission on show at its E3 stand in glorious 4K on a GTX 1080 Ti.
The Homecoming mission isn't strictly new; it was first shown at the Destiny 2 reveal earlier in the year. But this is the first time Destiny 2 has been playable on PC. It's also the first time it's been shown in 4K, and at maximum graphical settings. None of which says much about the game's story, of course, but if you're going to try and glean what you can from an old demo, you might as well do it in the most lavish way possible.
Nvidia's Max-Q initiative, which aims to slim down bulky gaming laptops with hand-picked chips and recommended dimensions and acoustics, has produced three laptops so far: The Clevo P950, Asus Zephyrus, and MSI GS63. While the MSI GS63 uses the same slim chassis as its predecessor—which was part of Nvidia's 10-series laptop launch—both Clevo and Asus have created something new for Max-Q. In the case of Asus at least, the new design is particularly wacky.
But let's start with the basics. Max-Q is Nvidia's attempt to make the gaming laptop more portable by giving OEMs like Asus and Clevo access to GTX 1080, GTX 1070, and GTX 1060 GPUs that hit a sweet spot between performance and power. These specially selected chips perform nearly as well as the standard laptop parts, but require far less power when under load. The GTX 1080 goes from a rated max power consumption of 150W to between 90W and 100W, the GTX 1070 goes from 115W TDP to 80W-90W, and the GTX 1060 goes from 80W to 60-70W.
Less wattage means less heat, which in turn means less cooling, resulting in thinner and quieter laptop designs. While Nvidia hasn't put a hard restriction on the physical dimensions of Max-Q laptops—the Clevo comes in at 19mm thick, the Asus at 18mm—it is pushing for a limit on fan noise. Max-Q laptops have an upper limit of 40dbA when under load. If a laptop goes over that it doesn't make the cut, and misses out on access to Max-Q chips and branding.
In a thinly veiled branding exercise, graphics card marker Nvidia has unveiled "Max-Q," a series of thin and light gaming notebooks. Much like Intel's Ultrabook initiative, Nvidia is hoping that Max-Q will encourage laptop makers to create gaming laptops that can actually be used on the go, rather than remain permanently tethered to a wall socket because humanity's best scientists haven't yet created a battery-sized fusion power cell.
To that end, Max-Q (a co-opted NASA term that defines the point at which the aerodynamic stress on a rocket in atmospheric flight is maximised) has some recommended physical specs. Those include a thickness of 18mm and a weight of 2.3kg—a significant reduction over the 51mm and 4.5kg of GTX 880M-era laptops. Naturally, Max-Q laptops sport one of Nvidia's desktop-class graphics cards, which include the GTX 1060, GTX 1070, and GTX 1080.
Fan noise, a perpetual problem for gaming laptops, is kept low by a new feature dubbed WhisperMode. WhisperMode dynamically changes the game's frame rate, while simultaneously tweaking the graphics settings in order to save GPU resources. While Nvidia is yet to reveal the technical details behind WhisperMode, it sounds an awful lot like AMD's Radeon Chill feature, which lowers the frame rate during less action-orientated scenes in order to save power.