Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that the tail of a raccoon will once again enable Mario to take to the sky in Super Mario 3DS.
One of the most memorable moments in Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES was definitely taking to the air for the first time with the aid of the Raccoon Suit. Since then, the suit has sadly been absent from the Mario Bros. series, but it's finally on its way back. Shigeru Miyamoto has confirmed that the Raccoon Suit, or some kind of tailed version of Mario, will return in Super Mario 3DS.
Miyamoto revealed to Edge that Super Mario 3DS will be a combination of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 64. As for what this means, Miyamoto said that we'll have to wait until E3 to find out. The games are conceptually similar, aside from the spherical worlds found in Galaxy. Miyamoto added that the 3DS will make platforming elements of Super Mario 3DS easier as distance between platforms at certain angles is clearer in 3D.
Most importantly, Miyamoto also confirmed that Mario will grow back a tail in the game. It was somewhat obvious from the tail shown in the Super Mario 3DS logo, but now we have confirmation. Miyamoto said: "The tail you mentioned on the logo - it's what you think it is. You probably know what's going to happen using that character."
This almost certainly means that the Raccoon Suit, i.e. a flying version of Mario, will return. It could imply an appearance of the Tanooki Suit as well, the tougher to find counterpart that also allowed Mario to turn himself into an invincible statue. Whether or not it means we'll see other classic powerups, such as the Hammer Bros. Suit and the Goomba's Shoe, is unsure, but it'd be nice.
We can infer from the return of this powerup that Super Mario 3DS may play out differently from previous 3D Mario titles if a new element of flying is involved (edit: in a manner different than that of Super Mario 64's Flying Cap). Only Nintendo's E3 2011 demo will tell the tale.