The original Shield Portable is finally getting the bump to Android 5.1 from 4.4, but don't rush right out and download the OTA just yet. There are a few caveats with this one. Yes, you get the latest version of Android, but it will remove several games and features that are bundled with the old KitKat software.

Here's the changelog posted by NVIDIA.

  • Android 5.1
    • Upgrade to the latest Lollipop OS
    • Fixes a bug that does not allow books to be read in the Google Play Books app
    • Permanently removes Sonic 4, Episode II, Expendable: Rearmed, and Android Browser
  • Adds support for Chromecast
    • Enables SHIELD portable as a source device for Chromecast or any Google Cast Ready device connected to your TV
    • Miracast is no longer supported
  • Updates Twitch app with latest version

Sonic and Expendable: Rearmed were both included with the Portable upon its release, but these games aren't supported properly on Android 5.1. Rather than deal with compatibility issues, NVIDIA is just removing them. Miracast is also being pulled as it doesn't work on Android 5.1. At least you get Chromecast support built-in. The stock Android browser is being axed as well.

Screenshot_2015-07-23-09-40-28 Screenshot_2015-07-23-09-40-12

The update is a big one at 435MB. You should be able to start the download from the system update menu, but it's downloading pretty slowly on our end.

  • Thanks:
  • Mike Allen