Easy question. Does Element 2022 still uses the same database format/structure as the 2020 version (i.e. with several thousands of json files). With every new releases, I hoping that adobe will eventually come up with a nore intelligent way of managing this.
More precisely, you are asking about changes in [catalog folder structure] which could involve slight changes in the structure of the sqlite databases included in that folder.
What's easy would be to download the trial version of PSE2022 (provided it uses a required OS version). No change with json files.
I don't use face recognition myself, so I am not bothered with json files.
I suspect you are hinting at storing the face recognition data in sqlitedatabase (similar to storing the thumbnails). That would make a number of backups much faster if possible.
I have no inside info about the reasons of the present solution, but I think that the json text files may be necessary for compatibility with other programs. So, I have no easy answer to your question.