Look at the images HollyGamer posted for R&C. The jump from PS2 to PS3 is so massive, the polygon count increased, the fur got fur texture, better lighting and much more details in the background. The difference is so noticable. Then to PS4 the difference is still there, especially details in the background, but overall less noticeable. And then again on PS5. Yes, technically the jump is still the same, but it is not anymore such a defining difference.
I think - as many people expressed - the thing that keeps people impressed is the fast transition in R&C. Which is really something. Also applying so much physics to general objects in the area. This both is a difference I think is much more important for gamers, it will make their experience much more enjoyable, interacting with the environment and fast transitions making the game spicier. The visual improvements may gommainly unnoticed.
And I am aware that different people work on different things. But for a company it means resources. If they put a different focus, you can hire more people for gameplay improvements. There is a major disproportion in the development teams. Look at the credits for really old games. I talk 90s games. Back then the team had about proportional workforce for graphics, music, programming, story and gameplay. But since then the teamsize for graphics grew disproportionally, while the other area saw only little growth in the allocated resources (aka manpower). Now the graphcis department makes often about 80% of the teamsize. Just bring it a bit more into balance.
Neither of the games that had good scores or good looks suffered on gameplay because they were pretty or had a lot of resources on it, that is just a fallacy throw for not liking the gameplay on that game. It is possible that these games that you don't like the gameplay had more resources put on gameplay than a Mario game that you like.
And I looked at the image, again the difference becomes more on the details and static images make it harder to see. But you naturally notices the differences and when getting used to it and go back to older you see that something is amiss. That happens to me all the time when I rewatch something of older gen that I found to be fantastic and now I can see the gaps.
I actually don't like Mario or Jump&Runs in general. You are assuming I am arguing down to you as a Nintendo fan willing to put down Sony. But I still feel as a DOS gamer in heart, I got away from gaming as the general direction was in a way that didn't mesh with me before Wii introduced me to console gaming. And I appreciate a console game as much as I did a good DOS game in the 90s. This is not about Nintendo or Sony or this crap. This is about games. And I appreciate that Sony does make good games. I don't think Horizon is a bad game, and R&C in the presentation looked outright awesome. But not because of graphics, but because of the other stuff that felt like a step ahead. And that is why I was impressed by Kena, but have worries about Project Athia.
Sony presented some good games, that is out of the question. But they are often good for other reasons than graphics. And diminishing returns are a reality, just look again at HollyGamers pictures of R&C through the gens and tell me the wow-effect is the same for the difference of the PS4/PS5-comparison, as it is for the PS2/PS3-comparison. Look through this thread how often people said that you should look at 4K-streams to see the difference. This all should tell you: people need to pay a lot more attention to notice and appreciate the differences in visuals, than was needed back then in PS2 gen. This simply is diminishing returns.
It is funny that multiple posters say they are not impressed, but others saying: just look at this detail or at a 4K-stream to see the difference, while at the same time denying that diminishing returns are relevant already. These posters that aren't impressed are simply a result of the diminishing returns. That happens. That some people have learned themself in looking at some visual details still notice the improvements does not change that. Because diminishing returns means less and less people are impressed.
And again, that is not a shot against Sony, the same is happening for XSX and Nintendo and PC and Stadia. Stadia also showed off what theoretical is possible (still not present in actual games), but I wasn't impressed. And the Stadia machines have very beefy hardware.