We’re still very much in the early days of the ninth console generation. Over on the Xbox and PC, The Medium recently came out as a ninth-gen exclusive. While it's a fixed-perspective title in the vein of the early survival horror games, there’s a lot to find in common: we’re seeing remarkably asset quality across the board, judicious use of ray-tracing, and a post-process pipeline that isn’t compromised by sub-native buffers and low sample counts.
Returnal (and The Medium) signpost where ninth-gen visuals are headed: we’re looking at higher-fidelity models, no-compromise texture quality, and tasteful use of ray-tracing, as we get past the “puddles everywhere!” phase.
It’s not exactly a night-and-day difference. But it’s not easy to see how well the base PlayStation 4 would run this game, and that’s a good thing: PlayStation exclusives are starting to move beyond vintage 2013 hardware.