I'm sure a similiar topic has been done before, this is to be directly related to the 3 recently announced systems. With the number of dedicated systems threads going around, I haven't seen this questions discussed as it pertains to all the collective whole.
I was reading through posts on a number of other boards today and it really got me think, is this a good thing and would it sway me towards one system or another.
The only current gen system I own is an X-Box, and my first impression of backwards compatibility in the 360 was that I'd probably stick with MS in the next round so as not to loose what I already have. Then I really started to think, why not switch and get a PS3 instead. My thoughts being, I have an x-box in which to play the titles I already own, so backwards compatibility doesn't really give me anything tangible other than one less system hooked up to the TV.
On the other hand if I spring for a PS3, not only will I get new titles, but the worlds of PS1, and PS2 will be opened up. To someone like me who after the 16 bit days sat out the 32/64 bit era, the idea of now getting 3 systems in one is appealing. Will I be playing the older titles a lot, probably not - but there are a number of cheap old games I missed and if I now have the ability I might take them for a spin.
Not sure what I'll end up doing, too early to tell. I'm just thinking to a fan boy backwards compatibility may not mean anything, but to someone who is looking at buying for the first time maybe adds some extra weight. The same argument can be had with the other systems as well.