It was removed after a load of idiots complained that features cost money. The PS3 was lambasted as being too expensive despite being more powerful, having way more kit, having better backward compatibility, etc, etc, etc.
Not really surprising to see the console makers backing down on this one. They all want an online-only console where they can screw the customer over to their heart's content, but they also all know full well that the first console to do it will get savaged. If the Xbox 3 tried it, the PS4 would come out with a disc drive, keep the important 2nd hand and discount markets, and easily win market share.
It's just console makers acknowledging that online-only is bad for consumers, and they don't want it.*
(*On console. On PC we have Steam, and fairly reasonable pricing, and sales, and competition within the platform, etc, etc, etc.)