While Sony is the creator of the platform, it is up to the third-party publishers and developers if they elect to follow Sony’s model. Sony is not looking to dictate, mandate, or control the decision of third-party developers should they choose to use some sort of a DRM model. Sony did indicate that the Online Pass program would continue on the PlayStation 4, and publishing partners do have the option and ability to continue to use this avenue, as well. Sony says that the PS4 is not designed to lock disc-based games.
The news about the Online Pass is interesting given that Sony has confirmed that (starting with the PlayStation 4) a PlayStation Plus membership will be mandatory if you want to play online multiplayer on the PS4. This is the same as what Microsoft has always had with Xbox Live Gold, which is required to play games online with the Xbox 360, and now the Xbox One.
Sony has not been clear as to what kinds of DRM might be built into the PlayStation 4 platform and what options or restrictions a third-party publisher could elect to implement. Expect Sony to have more specifics on this in the weeks ahead.
When questioned about if publishers had already decided to implement restrictions on upcoming titles on the PlayStation 4, it seems that Sony had no specific details on what the publishers might be thinking or what they might be planning to do on the PS4 platform.