As far as I'm concerned, this makes it official! Under 5.5 Using pkgng for Binary Package Management:
pkgng is an improved replacement for the traditional FreeBSD pkg_install package management tools, offering many features that make dealing with binary packages faster and easier. The first release of pkgng was in August, 2012.
My only lingering gripe with pkgng was you still needed to download the ports tree or use pkg_add to install it, which seemed redundant. This has also been addressed:
FreeBSD 9.1 and later includes a “bootstrap” utility for pkgng. The bootstrap utility will download and install pkgng. [..] To bootstrap the system, run:# /usr/sbin/pkg
I'm counting this as an early Yuletide present from the lovely, epic FreeBSD developers and documentation team. I'd jump in my chair with joy, if I could!