They don't give a damn about a few angered /. posters who swore off Sony because they couldn't run Linux on their game consoles.
They are, however, KEENLY aware of the legions of users who stopped buying shit from their online store and basically deserted the console following their leaving the customers' credit card data right in the fucking open.
My PS3 is a standing blu-ray player that isn't allowed to have a network connection these days for good reason, and I suspect Sony realized that there's no chance in hell of my buying their box if it required a net connection knowing their track record on the subject.
I buy pre-paid PSN cards, no credit card info required.
I don't trust Sony on any issue except occasionally coming out with pretty good games. That level of trust tends to work out well.
That being said, remember when Microsft came out with a console prone to widespread hardware failure? Remember incessantly sending those consoles in for repairs and/or purchasing new ones as they failed? Yeah, I remember it too.
I'm either on my 4th or 5th 360, I lost track after the third repair or so. My PS3 running launch hardware is still going strong....
In short, while I'm not a fan of either Microsoft or Sony, there are a lot of reasons why I'll be choosing Sony and giving the big middle-finger to MS this time around.