There is an NFC button on the Wii U GamePad but although none of the Wii U launch games will make use of this near field communication function, Rayman Legends Creative Director Michel Ancel believes it could result in innovative games in the future.
An early Rayman Legends video showcased NFC with players placing objects on the GamePad to bring them into the game, but Ancel told Official Nintendo Magazine that this was just an experiment.
"We didn't announce this officially and it was more the kind of experiment we do when working on new hardware like the Wii U," said Ancel. "We had prototypes of this and we believe that having real objects manipulating gameplay could be quite innovative. But again, this was a prototype and we won't discuss it until it's ready to demonstrate its full potential."
As Ancel mentioned, NFC can be used to bring real objects into a game. Skylanders makes use of NFC with its toys and portal of power. However, Skylanders Giants won't be making use of the GamePad's NFC function with developers Toys For Bob preferring to make use of their own Portal Of Power.
You can read the full interview with Michel Ancel in issue 89 of Official Nintendo Magazine.