Keep in mind that the areas you speak of are not statistics of America entirely. Around 7 million Americans are 90 days late on their auto loan payments, and this was before COV19.Obviously whoever wrote that article has not driven through Baltimore or Chicago...where I see poor, and I mean truly poor people, driving some really nice cars. They will spend their money on that and the government will pay for their housing. So yeah I would say they can "afford" it.
Lets look at movies for example. The magic number for VHS prices of the 80's and 90's was $20, and they definitely had movies as high as $80. Nowadays Blu-Ray movies are generally ~$10. How much does it cost to make a game vs a movie? Infinity War cost $321 million to make and made over $2 billion in profits, while GTAV cost $265 to make while it made $6 billion in profits.Video games have cost the same (or less) for the last 35 years. In a lot of cases they're cheaper. Stuff goes on sale quicker and we don't ever have those zany outlier cartridges that were $75-80. If I can afford a $1000 video card, I don't really have any room to gripe over $10 for a game that's 10x longer than the games I dropped $60 for when I was 10.
Stop trying to justify the $70 price increase because the video game industry doesn't need more billions. The movie industry seems to be happily chugging along selling movies at lower prices than VHS, so the gaming industry should be fine with $60 or lower prices.