PlayStation 4 dev kits cost around $2,500 each, but many studios have been sent loan kits free of charge, development sources have told Polygon.
Sources claim that there are no dev kits being sold right now, with available stock being sent straight out to favoured developers.
"All the indies I know got them for free," said one developer. "Sony has been amazing about kits and development thus far."
Another developer claims that Sony is handing PS4 dev kits "out like candy".
Microsoft announced last night that developers will be able to turn retail Xbox One consoles into development units, but didn't talk publicly about the fees involved.
PS3 dev kits are reported to have cost between $1,000 and $10,000.