I do find it hilarious that in this industry, you hear someone official say one thing and completely ignore it, write and article and everything starts up again like the thing the official guy said was rumour only.
Sony have said "it's up to the publishers." before, online pass features already exist lock people out of certain online features in games. It's the same as what they are doing now, even Sony have online passes. I don't ever expect any of that to change.
The difference here is the regular checks that the Xbone does that require an internet connection. How are these publishers going to implement that on a system which doesn't require a net connection? Will it come up with a warning saying 'Sorry you cannot play this game as we won't let you play the game you just bought because we can't connect to a server you can't ever connect to.'?
Up to the publisher if they do this and sadly Sony won't have control over that.
" they expect game publishers "
I do as well because game publishers hate legitimate customers. I don't however expect Sony to do this with their games, with PS+ needed for online play, the cost of servers (like on Uncharted 3) won't be such a burden.