Only a 93rd minute equaliser from James McArthur denied Reading all three points at the DW Stadium, after goals from Shaun Cummings and Sean Morrison had seemingly got the job done for the Royals.
It was a cruel end to the game for Nigel Adkins young side who had the better of the first 90 minutes against a club who just a few months ago had stuffed a far more experienced Royals outfit.
A deflected Callum McManaman strike had given Wigan a first-half lead against the run of play, after Ryan Edwards had earlier missed a golden opportunity to score on his full debut for Reading.
Edwards was one of a number of surprising faces in the Reading lineup, with only five survivors in the starting lineup from the 2-2 draw with Burnley that closed the previous campaign. Adam Federici returned in favour of Alex McCarthy, while Cummings, Michael Hector, Jake Taylor and Nick Blackman also got starts. New signing Simon Cox started on the bench while Danny Guthrie also returned from injury to line up among the substitutes.
Despite the inexperience on show, Reading were on top for large periods and aside from McManaman's goal, Wigan rarely threatened despite taking a 1-0 lead into the break.
Into the second period and Reading grew and grew into the game, especially after Cox and Guthrie were introduced as Cummings soon found the net from 25 yards and just minutes later Morrison nodded in to turn the game on its head.
Sadly Reading couldn't quite hold on to take all three points away as a long ball in injury time was flicked on and finished by McArthur but despite that deflating blow this was a game full of nothing but positives for Reading, who managed to hold one of the favourites for promotion despite having a string of injuries and having only made their first signing in over 300 days this past week.
Marc will be along with a full report and player ratings later on but for now it's certainly a positive start to the campaign.
Reading: Federici; Cummings, Pearce, Morrison, Gunter; Hector, Obita; Taylor (Cox), Edwards (Guthrie), Blackman; Pogrebnyak