I do not entirely agree. The techniques of “cheating” are indeed played, but far from being optimal. Current solutions produce many graphics problems that every gamer takes for granted. While you may not immediately see the shift to ray tracing games, the more ray tracing games you play, the sooner you will notice the shift to non-ray traced games.
Recently I played zero down horizons and what immediately struck me was that the water reflections disappear like this, especially on the sides of the screen. This is something that affects almost all games with screen space glare. There is also a twinkle here and there in the shadows. A downside to shadow maps, there are many settings for shadow maps that you need to change per scene to fix all of these flaws. Ray tracing also has drawbacks, such as noise. But it usually doesn’t depend on the scene and there are already a lot of solutions for it.
I think the biggest benefit of ray tracing is that it ultimately makes game development easier. It takes a lot of hours of work for the highlights and shadows to look good, all of that can later be put into other things like creating more content or better animations. I say in the end because at this point a game should work fine with and without ray tracing. If you get “ray tracing only” games in the future, you will really notice the difference. This is why it is good to have ray tracing on phones and tablets, the more systems there are with ray tracing hardware, the faster game developers can switch to this technology.