Has anyone mentioned that these games were removed for compatibility reasons? Does that make a difference? I'd love to know how nvidia is supposed to fix 3rd party games if they simply don't work on the latest version of the OS? Do they not let people update? Or leave the games there, but just broken? I'm not sure there are any good answers here. Ideally, the developers would fix their own games, but there's probably very little financial incentive for them to do that at this point.
Indeed. As a SHIELD Portable owner I'm bummed by this, but I'm not really surprised. Android software forward compatibility is real hit & miss, a lot of things work and then random things will break for no good reason, even though the sandbox means you can't do anything crazy with the API. We're still in a period of rapid evolution and turnover in the mobile OS space, and having already gone through this on the PC 20-30 years ago I know we'll get past it eventually, but in the early period it kind of sucks. So I don't envy NVIDIA in the least on this, as it's picking between a collection of bad options.
That said, I'm also not losing any sleep over losing Sonic. It looked nice, but it also ran at 30fps since SEGA/NVIDIA prioritized image quality over framerates in order to show how close Tegra 4 was to consoles. I don't think I need to go into depth about why a 2D Sonic game, a fast action platformer, is best played at 60fps, which is the case on the consoles and PC. I haven't played it for more than about 5 minutes as a result.
At the same time I'm also in no rush to upgrade either, since the SHIELD Portable really only does gaming well (i.e. most of Android L's upgrades are lost on it), and Android L isn't necessary for that since the Tegra 4 GPU is OpenGL ES 2.x generation anyhow. Perhaps the takeaway from this should be that Android L is a bad idea for the SHIELD Portable in the first place.