Quick answer: make sure the thumb drive is formatted using a Master Boot Record (MBR) partition in either FAT32 or ExFAT format. The MBR partition format is key.
If formatting a device on a Mac, the default partitioning uses a GUID Partition Map. Make sure you change this to Master Boot Record and you’ll be all set.
More discussion in these posts:
Why Can’t PS4 Media Player Read My Drive? (Yes I’ve tried the Obvious Stuff) from PS4
This would seem like an incredibly early release of a new console from Sony given that they tend to promote the ’10 year lifespan’ of their consoles, but at this point it is just a rumor. Maybe they’re planning on getting ahead in the next gen and beating Microsoft to release first? The release of the PS3 was a couple of years after the XBox360 was released and the Playstation brand must have lost some ground to Microsoft during that time. Microsoft is already also rumored to announce the XBox720 in 2012 at E3.