Technology has greatly improved since the first 3D consoles appeared. Back then, as the more veteran artists may recall, one building was less than 50 triangles, and a character was less than 500. The standard for a texture was 16 colors at 128 X 128 resolution. It was extremely challenging to render anything organic. Developers needed to work within severe limitations, and players had to accept pixelated textures all over the place.
Now they've got higher console and PC specs, and the luxury of technologies such as normal, height, and specular maps, ambient occlusion, sub surface scattering, and lots of real-time rendering features that can compete with software rendering.