You are generalizing quite a bit about what Sonic fans want. Individual Sonic fans know exactly what they want, but Sonic has been so many things over the last 20+ years that everybody gets attached to different versions. I, for example, love "Sonic the Racing Game", as portrayed in Sonic Unleashed and Generations. Others want more platforming-focused games like Colors or Lost World. Others still only care about the comics. Sega let Sonic be *everything*, and now no one thing can please everyone
I think what you wrote there at the end “no one thing can please everyone” is basically how I see it. Personally I just felt a bit strange seeing this cacophony of outrage start to form over the fact that Sonic is wearing a scarf or that Knuckles is “big”. The changes didn’t look very egregious to me but then again I’m not a die hard Sonic fan either. From what I saw it was 4 popular Sonic characters running around fast on an island, which to me is what Sonic was always about. While I’m sure some people love the kart racing, and I don’t fault them for it, Sonic was and always should be some form of platformer that involves loops, spirals, animals in computers and a Casino Zone. Of course this begs the question: was Sonic /ever/ really that good to begin with? To which I would probably say no, as it was a very colorful and cool looking game, but even back in the 90’s I remember it played chaotically and a lot of the levels just weren’t that fun to navigate.