Yeah, well, see, that's the point. You were floored because you are involved into such stuff and know how much work was going in and how much scrutiny was needed to get this improvement. I wasn't floored, as I know this is just a fleeting moment in a game I might play for hundred hours. The reason I was impressed by Ratchet&Clank and Kena was, that they showed gameplay. Sure, Kena showed no gameplay that is impossible today, but it showed nice gameplay which probably keeps me entertained. For Horizon I am excited, because I know what gameplay to expect, but they showed little to none. The graphical improvements will not keep me in excitement over a 100 hour play-session. There might be moments when I think: this scenery looks nice, or this object looks great. But most of the time it will not be on the front of my mind, as I play.
Sorry, I know how much work goes into this kind of thing, but I also always ask myself: what if some of that work would've gone into gameplay improvements. And for some games it does. Again R&C and Kena look exciting for this exact reason. But the graphical wow that keeps you blowed away all through the game is probably a thing of the past. Alone the talk about 'watch the 4K trailer to see the improvement' makes it clear, that the improvements aren't that obvious anymore.
Your two posts confused so many things.
For the regular game sure it doesn't matter that every single strand of hair was individually draw or the meshes on the cloth. But on the visual impact that will matter and he will notice without knowing what exactly had him so impressed.
And people on the team that make the graphics and the gameplay are two different groups so you don't have "hey we have to stop improving graphic to improve gameplay" that is one stance from Nintendo fans that is the most annoying.
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.