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Nvidia's 500 GB Shield Pro Now Available (Updated)

Two weeks ago at Google I/O, Nvidia’s Shield Android TV platform was finally available. First introduced at GDC, the basic package included the Shield controller and the device itself, which contained only 16 GB of flash storage. However, Nvidia came out with another version called the Shield Pro, and it’s available now.

If placed side-by-side, both devices look identical, but the Shield Pro has two notable differences from its younger brother. The first is storage. Whereas the basic Shield only has 16 GB of internal storage, the Shield Pro a 500 GB hard drive for storage. We still don’t know why Nvidia choose such a huge gap in storage capacities between the two units, but if you don’t want to deal with continually deleting other apps on Shield to make space for games, the Shield Pro should have more than enough space.

The second perk comes as a free title. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the latest in the popular series. While others have to pay $29.99 to buy it from the Google Play store, it comes free with the Shield Pro. However, your Shield games library doesn’t have to be comprised only of games from the Google Play store. Nvidia also added its GRID game streaming service to Shield, so players can stream a variety of titles from Nvidia’s servers.

The service is free until the end of June, when it will become a subscription-based service. The basic package will provide 720p and 30 fps game streaming, while a premium subscription will give you access to 1080p and 60 fps gameplay.

The Shield Pro would cost you $299.99, $100 more than the basic package. However, we're asking Nvidia for more detailed specs on storage, specifically the hard drive used and its speed in the Shield Pro, because the selected hard drive might not actually be worth the extra $100.

A 500 GB hard drive shouldn't add over $100 to the cost of the device, and it likely won't improve performance, so what are you really paying for? Is Nvidia just throwing in the original cost of the "free" game that comes with the Shield Pro?

Regardless, it's good to know that both Shields take SDXC cards up to 2 TB as a form of storage, so that could also be the best route instead of buying the Shield Pro.

Update, 6/12/2015, 11:50am PDT: Nvidia provided a few more details about the hard drive in the Shield Pro. The 500 GB hard drive is a 2.5-inch hybrid drive with a speed of 5400 RPM and 8 GB of flash memory. However, the company didn't tell us which storage brand was used for the Shield Pro.

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  • deppman
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    Reply
  • eklipz330
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    so it has a lot of space. care to explain why that's awesome?
    Reply
  • elbert
    I can only guess it has a 500GB HD to later sale it as a Steam OS console.
    Reply
  • TallestJon96
    I like the idea of the $200, 4k capable, better than an x360 set-top box, but at $300 it's best to get yourself a ps4, unless you already own a 4k TV.
    Reply
  • jaber2
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    so it has a lot of space. care to explain why that's awesome?
    Me too, I would like to know what's awesome about shield
    Reply
  • TechyInAZ
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    so it has a lot of space. care to explain why that's awesome?
    Me too, I would like to know what's awesome about shield

    Me three!!
    Reply
  • stoned_ritual
    I can't see how this fills a void in the set top market. It isn't a console. It isn't a pc. It isn't solely a video device like a roku. This is basically the same thing as me plugging my tablet into my TV. Or chromecasting my tablet through my roku. Or plugging an hdmi cord into my pc.
    Reply
  • Fido_One
    I can't see how this fills a void in the set top market. It isn't a console. It isn't a pc. It isn't solely a video device like a roku. This is basically the same thing as me plugging my tablet into my TV. Or chromecasting my tablet through my roku. Or plugging an hdmi cord into my pc.

    I disagree, I have had a shield portable, the tablet, and now the TV. Especially after the updates and the move to lollipop, there is nothing out on the market that touches this. Yes, Android TV needs a bit more TLC, but what is there now is a seamless, extraordinarily slick experience you can't get from other consoles. It makes the Roku look pale in comparison, and if you're using game-stream, it makes all consoles look lackluster as well.

    At this point (not at the beginning) it's a super refined experience and Nvidia will continue to update it. I am lucky enough to have a computer with a Nvidia card (the initial reason I got the portable) , and it's crazy-fantastic for that purpose. I stream games from the Grid as well, sometimes even preferring the grid games over the ones on my rig as I can pick them up and go while on the road.

    I never understood the whole OUYA thing, but I am starting to see it in the shield - there are some good android games out there, but NVIDIA has gotten some good controller support on a solid selection of android games which are a great addition to PC games as they're a bit more casual pick up and play things than you find on Steam.

    So right now, I hit the game pad button, get voice recognition to the point that it blows everything else away, and can generally navigate to what I want a lot more intuitively than a PS4, tablet or XBone. And it's just rock solid - no jitters, no stuttering (okay, on a bad day a grid game does stutter a bit, but you'll quickly forget you're playing from the cloud and the graphics beat the snot out of PS4 and XBone).

    The HomeRun benefit is actually quite good, as I'll be using it as a cable box in another part of the house when they upgrade for MPEG2 support.

    So I see the shield TV as a great swiss army knife, something that I use everyday quite regularly, and I know that I haven't seen half of the neat stuff they have hidden underneath there.

    Is it completely different than a Roku? Not really, but it is a helluva lot better. Think of it as a Roku 8 - the shield skipped 4-7 and set the bar higher. While I sound like a fanboy, I got into the shield as I couldn't run any solid HDMI signals in my house due to super long cat6 runs with some interference. The shield fixed all of that, and it essentially has allowed me to transport my 70 pound rig to any 1080p TV I want.

    I can't comment on its 4k abilities as I don't have a 4k TV, but I wouldn't underestimate this device, I don't think any other set top box can touch this thing.
    Reply
  • somebodyspecial
    16041333 said:
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    so it has a lot of space. care to explain why that's awesome?

    Games are already 2GB+ and these are NOT even aimed at K1, let alone X1, Vulkan etc and all made with PUNY storage in mind. You can copy some movies from the network and shutdown whatever they came from to play them too. There is much you can do when space isn't your issue. It won't be long (think next xmas, unreal 4/unity2.5 games etc) before we're talking 4-10GB mobile games and maybe even larger. There is a reason MS is now shipping a TB model this week right? Can you say FUTURE PROOF (at least as much as you can)?

    I'm confused by your question. 16GB sucks, 500GB is awesome...LOL. DUH. If external storage is treated like most devices (a pain to get apps over there and act like internal storage) then 500GB out of the box is AWESOME. Not sure why they didn't just make it a 1 screw and you can install your own though at any size in 2.5in much like a laptop. It would seem to me that will sell far better, but I think they just really didn't want to sell the low end model at all, just had to due to price. They would rather have ALL units having storage as a NON issue for devs. So I kind of get why they made them so far apart, hopefully forcing a higher model purchase for most.

    OF course it's a moot issue if a flash card works the same as the internal 500, or if USB storage works this way too, but we haven't heard that covered in depth yet.

    Also the price of a hybrid 2.5in is $60 so basically this is the drive price + the $30 game. No big deal. Personally they should have sold for $269 sans game IMHO which would be $60+10 install I guess (or fee for different setup inside). They've said you can't install it after, so some portion of the $100 is due to a different internals or something (missing sata port in $200 models?). Or people could just crack it open and DIY. The $300 means nothing to me if I'm buying though, as it saves money for years on watts while playing movies (10w vs. consoles at 75-100w playing netflix etc) and games are not $60 a whack. Pile on grid for cheap gaming all year (even at $15/mo it's only the price of 3 console titles, poor people can't afford $60 each) for major hits and it's a great deal all around as the only 4K player also. If you're buying as an alternate to PC gaming also great as you can get your PC games to the TV with this. As a PC owner a console is no longer worth it, as I'd only buy for exclusives and play on the TV. If I can get my PC to the TV with this, use grid for games I can't afford and play android on top, I'm in and console free. X360 was my last console and purely bought for a few exclusives. Not even worth the price of admission today IMHO. My xbox collection is basically non-existent. What a waste if you have a PC and too expensive if you're poor as the price of games adds up quick. I'd rather buy top android games for $2-10. If you weren't one of the few million that bought games like bard's tale (~40hrs of gameplay), icewind dale (enhanced), baldur's gate 1+2 (80hrs + each, now enhanced graphics) etc android is a cheap treat. All the final fantasy games etc, and ports galore on the way.

    Most titles don't sell more than 10mil total, so there's a BILLION gamers who have never seen this stuff which is great for devs to collect again on old IP that pays the way for new IP stuff. There's a ton of games I never got to years ago, and am glad to pay $2-10 for enhanced graphics editions today...LOL. Today for $60 you rarely get more than 10-15hrs of fun (unless rpg or strategy). I'll take android pricing for older hits please...ROFL. I hate steam (and have no account) so if it's not on gog for an old title I'll take android if available and play on the TV.

    Either way, if you're buying 16GB model, you'll be wanting more shortly if you're much of a gamer. With 5-7 top games you're already tapped out.
    Reply
  • deppman
    16042352 said:
    I've had my shield pro for 10 days already. The benefit of ordering direct from Nvidia I guess. Its a great kit, and a 500 Android device is pretty awesome!
    so it has a lot of space. care to explain why that's awesome?
    Me too, I would like to know what's awesome about shield

    Me three!!

    Having a half terabyte of fast hybrid storage on an Android TV device is unprecedented. No more shuffling around to make space for apps and data. Sorry, but I find that pretty awesome - and appropriate - for the Shield Android TV. I have the original Shield portable and I know first hand that 16GB is a PITA, even with stellar SD card support. There are some apps that will only install on primary storage, so after just a few AAA titles and space runs out. 0.5 TB primary eliminates the problem.

    The pro version is a much better product IMO. First it comes with $60 of goodies (borderlands presequel, $30 play store credits), so if you use those freebes, the price delta is only $40. For our family and devices the Android ecosystem makes the most sense. With 500GB of internal storage, excellent 4K support, and outstanding performance, this version is pretty future-proofed and blows away fireTV, Roku, and AppleTV. I'm excited by the OGL/Vulkan titles coming to SATV, GRID has been getting really good, and being able to migrate numerous titles from our touch devices to the big screen has resulted very happy and occupied children for 0 marginal dollars.

    Yeah, I know some would say for just $150 more or so I could get a dedicated xbone or ps4. But those aren't compelling to me because the don't do 4K, they have closed (albeit rich) ecosystems, and they don't have GRID. To get the same variety of entertainment options we already have on SATV on the xbone, for example, we would need to buy ~ $2,700 of games just for the GRID titles alone (45 AAA games * $60 each); and replacing the Android casual and AAA games would cost at least hundreds more. I see the use of GRID as part of a virtuous cycle, where people will try games, and then NV will help port popular titles to Android for people who know they want it. This has already happened with Borderlands, and I expect it to continue.

    Also, I don't think the performance delta to current gen consoles is as great as some people think: Maxwell is very good at tessellation, for example, and probably exceeds the capabilities of both consoles in that area. So some games may actually run faster on the SATV.

    As always, YMMV. For me, it was an easy choice.


    Reply