I swear The Verge turned off comments because they were tired of getting yelled at for screwing up posts like this.
"The goal, says Sony, is to develop new software "from the ground up," meaning no Google Play Services or superfluous apps, just the core Google communications software and Sony's stack of custom apps like Camera, Music, and Xperia Lounge."
The second half of this sentence contradicts the first. You can't have Google apps without Google Play Services—they wouldn't work. Also releasing Android without Google Play Services would be in violation of the "anti-fragmentation clause" in their MADA contract and Google would pull their Google Play license.
They don't even link to the actual Sony blog post so people can get the correct information. (it's here: http://blogs.sonymobile.com/2015/07/22/launching-sonys-concept-for-android-initiative-in-sweden/ )
IF The Verge had comments turned on, this post would be getting ripped to shreds. Now they can misinform people in peace.