"Frankly I think he's showing it off way too early." I think he's just an open guy. It comes from the game dev forums he hung around on before he got popular, and participating in ludum dare etc. He's not trying to sell us anything right now, he's just a friendly guy who likes talking about what he's working on. 0x10c looks really weird and I don't think I'd pay a subscription to it, but I like the experimentation of it.
Also, some of you need to really read the article. From the sound of it it will still have a lan mode. The massive server part is what would require a subscription; and he's talking about each ship being a subscription. You and a bunch of friends could all run one ship together and it would only be one subscription; which is kind of a neat idea.
And it's just an interview, everything is offhand comments made by notch. He's not talking in publicity speak, he's just revealing random ideas he's had. I really like all of the space sim games on the horizon, and the cool thing is none of them are really that similar. Whatever 0x10c will turn into will definitely be niche - and that's cool.