The ability to select an object in an image to either remove it from its background or isolate the object for specific correction/manipulation has certainly been available in earlier versions of Photoshop forever. The problem people seem to have has always been the quality of the selections. For instance, isolating and extracting flyaway hair on a model from a background is a bane for many if not most people. Some pixels invariably get left behind, background pixels travel with the hair or a combination of both.
50 Best Photo Retouching Masterpieces - Photoshop After Before Photos