At the end of April a 500GB SKU of the Android-TV Shield console sprung up on Nvidia's website and the sighting pleased a lot of community members. There had been some hostile reception to the paltry 16GB of storage made available with the base version of the console which Nvidia justified with the decision to offer a MicroSD card slot that could add an additional 128GB of storage. Nvidia responded to the 500GB SKU stating that it was a "Shield partner development kit" and that "Nvidia has not launched a 500GB SKU" for consumers.
That same 500GB SKU has now made another appearance, this time over at Amazon in the USA. While the listing has since been removed it seems that Nvidia is planning on launching the SKU as a publicly available option, rather than just for developers to tinker with. The decision certainly makes sense since many potent and graphically intensive Android gaming titles can easily take up multiple gigabytes of space meaning that 16GB leaves barely enough room for more than a handful of titles.
If the new SKU does make it to retail then it's clear Nvidia has listened to community feedback, which is always a good sign. The speculated MSRP of $299 for the 500GB SKU is $100 more than the base model with 16GB of storage. The rather small price increase would indicate the use of a small form factor, 1.8- or 2.5-inch, mechanical hard drive or hybrid drive rather than SSD storage.
Nvidia's Shield Android TV console is powered by the company's latest Tegra X1 processor that has 256 Maxwell GPU cores and 3GB of RAM.The system is capable of 4K playback and 7.1 surround sound, has 802.11ac and Gigabit ethernet connectivity and works with the company's GRID and GameStream services.