Sony has loaned free PlayStation Vita dev kits to at least one indie studio - and perhaps many more.
Isle of Wight-based developer Rubicon told Develop that Sony had supplied it with four early kits free of charge in order to build an "upgraded" version of its iOS title Great Little War Game.
Steven Haggerty, the group's technical director, said the PlayStation group is "the best" of all the platform holders when it comes to engaging with independent developers.
"They've just always been so useful in dealing with us," he said. "We've worked with Apple, and you can't get anything out of them. Microsoft rarely responds and I suppose Nintendo are okay, but Sony are always there to help. They always get back to you."
Reports circulating on the web suggest Vita dev kits are freely available to indies, but Sony has yet to confirm full details of its licensing policy.
EA said last week that Vita and 3DS face a challenge to succeed in light of growing competition from the smartphone and tablet markets.