Bottom line: PC gaming is big business in China. So much so that Valve recently announced its decision to develop a China-specific version of its popular PC gaming-oriented digital distribution platform, Steam. Until that version arrives, though, many Chinese gamers are sticking to Steam proper, if the platform's latest hardware survey is anything to go by.
The data collected in Steam's monthly survey reveals that Simplified Chinese is now the most popular language on the platform. More specifically, the language now represents 37.87 percent of Steam users (or, at least, those who participated in December's survey).
Notably, that number was much smaller at 23.44 percent in November, which formerly put it in second place in the language popularity rankings. Why December saw such a massive increase (roughly 14 percent) in this area is tough to say. Still, for one reason or another, an increasing number of Chinese PC gamers are checking out Steam's content library lately. Of course, not every user with their language set to Chinese is necessarily a resident of China, but it's probably the case for many.
Regardless, the second most popular Steam language in December was English, which is no surprise. English-speaking Steam users represent 30.43 (down from 36.83 percent in November) of the survey-participating playerbase, with Russian trailing behind in third place at 9.36 percent.
Most of Steam's other survey statistics aren't particularly exciting or newsworthy. Nvidia's GTX 1060 continues to dominate the Steam arena with 20.3 percent of the pie (80.51 percent of users own an Nvidia card, 11 percent are on the Red Team), and 1920x1080p is still the most popular gaming resolution for "primary" monitors.
However, there was one other interesting tidbit we wanted to draw attention to: Windows 10's popularity among Steam users dropped by a whopping 13.14 percent in December, bringing the number down to 61.09 percent. Windows 7 made up the difference with a 14.57 percent uptick in usage, adding up to 33.04 percent in total.
It's unclear why Windows 7 appears to be getting more popular among Steam players; especially given how close it is to its end-of-support date on January 14. This situation could be a fluke, or it could be a true sign of a small-scale reverse OS migration. If you have any theories, feel free to drop them in the comments. If not, be sure to check out Steam's December hardware survey results for yourself right here.