It's not the excuses that are ridiculous, it's your comparison of apples and oranges.
How about you compare 90s games to modern games with equally low production values and content? 90s games were also expensive as fuck considering how little they offered content wise.
Also you must have forgotten about all those devs and publishers going bankrupt during gen 7 and with it the death of most A and AA games because they weren't profitable despite selling hundred of thousands to a million copies. And to spell it out for you, A and AA means that they didn't use the shiniest tech. Tech is not expensive, manpower is. Why is manpower expensive? Because costs of living increase. Absolutely ridiculous to blame the publishers for that, yet you did.
In gen 7 many devs went bankrupt because that's when they all started trying to be AAA merchants with inflated budgets rather than be efficient and have quality content they tried to push the newest tech and have well known actors doing their VAs. A and AA didn't die because they weren't profitable they just weren't made at all because everyone was trying to make AAA titles except only Nintendo who funny enough are the most profitable of all in this industry and they have numerous A and AA titles with the fastest selling title this gen being a AA level one not to mention many A and AA titles this gen has done well as the indie side of things have shown.
The is also one glaring problem with your man power argument here and firstly it's the fact that publishers are raking in millions for a select few while their workers are paid peanuts or not at all in some cases, Bobby Kotick for instance makes bonuses that are comparable to bankers it's not a case that costs have gone up forcing prices to go up no as costs sort themselves out in the short run it's a case of no matter how much money is made by Publishers them and their shareholders will never see it as enough and use any and all excuses to drain more out of people. Secondly how has the man power changed in such a way that the PS4 and X1 versions stay the same in price while the new gen versions get a bump of 30 quid?
Tell us what exactly has changed for them to bump the price up by what is equivalent of a DLC season pass as in the UK people are being billed £25 extra, main land Europe they're paying 30 Euros extra and mind you we already know from a news story on this very site that they wanted to increase it even more. How good is your memory because if it's decent you'll remember Nintendo in the 90s did what these developers are doing now and got hit with price fixing charges and a £300m fine that's were this fiasco is headed for publishers as like with loot boxes if they don't sort themselves out the Governments will step in and sort it out for them.