One feature Nintendo showed off about the Wii U before the console's launch that never came to fruition was near field communication (NFC) support. With their version of NFC support, the GamePad could read real life physical objects, similar to what Skylanders has done with their toys and what Disney will do with Infinity.
Nintendo initially advertised other features that the Wii U would have, such as dual GamePad support, that also never came to be. According to a report by Polygon, Shigeru Miyamoto has stressed that Nintendo has a high priority for getting NFC support up and running before other features, including the ability to use two GamePads at once.
"With NFC, that's a feature that everyone that owns a Wii U can take advantage of," said. "So that's what we're putting [as] our priorities right now."
This isn't to say that they aren't going to implement dual GamePad functionality; it's just not a priority at the moment, especially since Miyamoto believes (and is probably right about) that the Wii U isn't at a point where people want to purchase a second, pricey GamePad.
So is Nintendo planning their own version of Skylanders? In other words, will there actually be physical Pokemon toys for players to catch?