A number of sources have stated on Polygon that some developers aren't paying a cent to use the PlayStation 4 development kit.
The dev kit itself costs about $2,500, but Sony is loaning them out for free for a period of one year, according to the company's "Become a Registered Developer" website. Various development sources in the article said that no dev kits have been sold as of yet. "All the indies I know got them for free," said one developer. "Sony has been amazing about kits and development thus far." Another developer stated that the company is "handing them out like candy."
A Sony spokesperson pointed out that the act of self-publishing was available on PlayStation platforms for over five years. "With self-publishing, we keep things really flexible for developers and give them lots of options, including funding through the Pub Fund, which is back-end funding paid upon completion of the game, we waive patch fees for indies and all digital titles and we embrace new business models like F2P, episodic, and subscriptions. We've had more than 500 games self-published on PSN."
Previously, PlayStation 3 dev kits cost between $1,000 and $10,000 with different levels of debug functionality and pricing. Sony will not be changing its self-publishing processes at this point in time.